ROI, a set of letters that I first heard in college when I read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” stands for “Return on Investment” and refers to the money invested into something compared to the amount of profit earned. writers defined it as A profitability measure that evaluates the performance of a business by dividing net profit by net worth. In some ways, we measure the success of college students against the amount of money they paid for college. 

When I was pitching going to culinary school to my “CFO” (Josh), I had to explain the potential ROI for speeding through some of the time to gain experience by attending culinary school. I had specific goals and felt that having a professional culinary background would give me an advantage. 

With Graham in 2010

While my mentor and friend Graham Kerr had encouraged me to study at the Seattle Culinary Academy, it was never a guaranteed investment that I would be able to get further into R&D. Fortunately, the chef instructors supported my desire, and several of them provided connections that helped me cross from line cooking to recipe and product development. 

Fast forward four years, and I’m on a management track and working to develop my skills in R&D as well as hone my leadership experience, leveraging both to help me grow my career. A strong argument can be made that my investment into culinary school has reaped great benefits. 

Chef Vicki explains effect of pH on vegetable texture

That got me thinking: what about the other cooks from my culinary program? What have they done with their training? I’ve decided to find out. 

PeasOnMoss has been about tracking my journey from nutrition scientist to professional cook and product developer. At the beginning of the blog, I weighed the costs and benefits of attending culinary school versus working through the stations. I also personally evaluated the different culinary programs in Seattle, though I didn’t post any to avoid endorsing any single program. 

Now, PeasOnMoss is continuing the narrative: tracking back to cooks and chefs I’ve met along the way to see where their lives have gone and what they’ve done with their culinary experiences. I hope you enjoy the journey. Peppered among the interviews, you’ll also find my notes about personal development as a leader in the food manufacturing world – both in professional kitchens and industrial facilities. PeasOnMoss will provide you a unique inside look to the world of food, and I hope you gain an understanding and appreciation of the Back of the House. 

Photo by Elaine Cox