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EP 249: Big Career Pivots: From Professional Dancer to Professional Chef with Steve Konopelski

Steve konopelski headshot

Episode Description

Today we welcome Chef Steve Konopelski, a Broadway dancer turned pastry chef who is Chef Instructor with the prestigious Auguste Escoffier Culinary Institute. Steve explains how he successfully navigated his extreme career transition; starting with how he thought of his new career goal in the first place, to how he proceeded to reach that goal step by step. As always, we get into the important details! As different as professional dancer and pastry chef careers seem, Steve reveals how they are related and how he weaved the story that led to his success. Steve's discussion of identifying transferable skills and other connections between the two fields is a master class in career storytelling for relaunchers.

Links to Episode Content

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

Chef Steve Konopelski

Read Transcript

Carol Fishman Cohen: Welcome to 3,2,1 iRelaunch, the podcast where we discuss return to work strategies, advice, and success stories. I'm Carol Fishman Cohen, CEO and co-founder of iRelaunch and your host. Before we get started, I want to remind those who are actively relaunching to make sure to register and upload your resume to our iRelaunch Job Board. Employers looking to hire relaunchers regularly peruse our job board for candidates for their career reentry jobs and programs.

Now onto our conversation. Today we welcome Chef Steve Konopelski, an Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts chef instructor. A Broadway dancer turned pastry chef, we will speak with Steve about the evolution of his career, how he navigated a number of transitions and the transferable skills he carried with him.

He's been on the Food Network, has won numerous awards for his work, and is building a successful business around his culinary prowess. Steve, welcome to 3,2,1 iRelaunch.

Steve Konopelski: Hi, Carol. Thank you so much for having me and to everybody that's currently listening right now, thank you as well for joining us. I'm very excited to be here.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Wow. It's really exciting to have this conversation and start the conversation. Can you start by telling us about your career as a dancer?

Steve Konopelski: Sure. I shant bore you with the laundry list of things as if it were quoting my resume again. But ultimately the Reader's Digest version of this story is, I am a farm boy from the middle of nowhere, Saskatchewan, Canada, who through a crazy twist and turn of events ended up at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. I was a professional ballet dancer in conservatory, not necessarily 100% happy with the ballet world, and wanted to spread my wings a little bit more and branched off into musical theater. Which, yada, yada, yada, eventually got me to New York City where I had a wonderful about 10 year career as a New York based dancer, actor, singer, doing everything from the doldrum cruise ship shows to the three Broadway shows that I was able to do. And, finally that sort of thought process about retirement came into my head. So that was a huge, up until that point was basically my entire life.

I started dancing when I was seven.

Carol Fishman Cohen: All right, I wanna ask you about that. Was there a moment when you thought, I need to, it's time for me to move on to doing something else. Did it happen gradually? How did you know it was time to step away from your dancing career? And then how did you think about pivoting interests into something else?

Steve Konopelski: So I retired from performing in 2011, but as early as 2006, I already started thinking about and realizing that I couldn't be a young actor, dancer/singer forever. It just wasn't going to happen. And I think my body was starting to experience a little bit of fatigue, cause I had been doing this for so long. And I just started to look at my path moving forward.

One of the things I didn't really care for with performing is there's no stability in your job. When you have the job, you only have the job for as long as the short contract is, or until the show closes. So you're always looking for the next thing while you have the thing and sometimes you're looking two and three down the road.

So I was sort of getting worn out by that Broadway machine and started looking at stuff. Around 2006 if we look at the history of television and food, that was the real sort of birth and boom of Food Network, Celebrity Chef, that type of stuff. So of course the actor in me is going, Oh, look at this whole new medium of food as entertainment.

Steve Konopelski: I can still live in that world, but maybe be somewhere else. And, by the time 2011 started to roll around, performing wasn't fun for me anymore. I didn't look forward to the curtain going up. I started to look forward to the curtain coming down, and that really, for me was the final indicator. It's time, your heart isn't in anymore. Let the new generation, the ones getting off the bus at 18 years old, just bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with a hundred dollars in their pocket knowing they're gonna make it. Which is exactly what I did when I moved to New York. Let that generation have their time now. I also had a very good career, so it was a little bit easier to say, I've done so much of the stuff that I set out to do, so I'm okay with allowing myself to have a new dream now.

I love how you put that. You know what's so interesting to me, at, is when you're talking about, you see this emergence of the Food Network and this idea of looking at food as entertainment and the performance element of it. I don't know if most people would think about it in those terms, but you grasped that right away.

Carol Fishman Cohen: So was that influential in terms of had you always had a passion for food, and now it was putting it all together? Or was this a whole new world for you?

It actually was a little bit of both. Performing is performing no matter, you know, where you are. And I think the transition, say from a classical ballet to musical theater was relatively easy because so many of the same skills, right?

Steve Konopelski: And that's what we talk about a lot, is those skills that transfer easily from one to the other. I was very fortunate as a farm kid to grow up in this atmosphere where we made everything from scratch all of the time. We had a massive garden. My, both my parents, my father and my mother baked,my mother made our clothes, like it was that type of, it was so Little House on the Prairie. So when I was thinking about wanting to do something else, you also think about, what are the other things that I love? But what is also comforting, and that was something that was so comforting to me, is getting in the kitchen, making my own stuff.

And I'm like, this is a place that I love to be. So can I take the talents that I have, the training that I have, the things that I've worked so hard for, can I put that into a different aspect and can I do something else that I enjoy doing? So it's not going to be laborium for the rest of my life.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Well, the way you're laying that out is really instructive. You're giving people tips for how to consider a career change. So you found this place pretty quickly that you knew was your comfort zone, and maybe I'm guessing, because how you're describing your roots on a farm, that was always a theme.

Just let's jump forward to the next step. You've thought about this and it was the natural progression, I need to go to a culinary art school and become a chef, or were you thinking they're all different ways to get into this field, and you were looking at a bunch of them?

Steve Konopelski: There are a lot of ways to get into this field, but let's look at my education. As a dancer, the biggest thing that I was taught is the importance of fundamental technique. I also, from an actor standpoint knew there is a big aspect in who do you know? Right. Pedigree. Having the right names behind you is what can get you in the door. And then technique is what's going to keep you there.

So as I was looking around, I just knew school is where I have to go because I need to learn technique. If I want to have a big, successful career in this new industry, I have to be technique based, 'cause that's what provided me success as a performer, is I was technique based. I wasn't somebody that kind of took a couple dance classes and then they said, Oh, you're handsome, so go to Broadway.

I was a kid who worked for 10 years just in dance school in conservatory. So as I looked at culinary schools in the area in New York, that is what really focused my decision. And ultimately I ended up going to the French Culinary Institute, because in my research I felt it had the best technical instruction, but it also had the best pedigree.

Steve Konopelski: French Culinary Institute, that was a name that was synonymous with education, excellence, perfection. So I knew if I had that on my resume, that would open a bunch of doors for me. And then if what I could do back that up, as we said, I would stay in the door.

Carol Fishman Cohen: So there's this branding aspect to it that the reputation of the place itself and then also the quality of the educational experience and then the network that it provides in terms, so there are a few aspects there of the idea of going to the French Culinary Institute. I really love what you're saying about pedigree getting you in the door and then the technique keeping you there. One of the things that we talk about with relaunchers in general is that you have to become a subject matter expert all over again.

So whether you're returning to your old field after a long career break or you're transitioning into something new and essentially, that's what you're saying here. When you have to be technique based, you are immersed and you have that subject matter expertise, in this case, the performance piece, and also the chef, the culinary skills.

Steve Konopelski: Yes, exactly. I totally agree with that. You have to be able to cash the check that you're writing, right? It's one thing to put on airs, I'm this, that, whatever, and people can see through that very quickly. You can toot your own horn as much as possible , but we see through that and that's what people want in any type of industry that you're entering.

People want the people that have the skills and can show the promise to learn and grow within that aspect. We're not really expecting new career, new people entering a new career to know everything all at once. But we're expecting them to have a good foundation that can be built upon, etcetera, etc., etc.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Can you give us a little bit of a timeline, Steve, from when you retired from the ballet world to when you started your culinary training?

Steve Konopelski: Yeah,my last performance was September, 2011, and I started culinary school December 27th, 2011. So I had a very short window, but I had already enrolled in pastry school in April of 2011. So I knew that I was going, I knew that I was retiring. My last show was not one of those things where I look back in hindsight going, Oh, this is my last show. I went into it fully knowing this is the last time I'm going to be on the stage. I'm going to enjoy every moment of this.

My final bow was very much this sort of mixture of joy and fear, and a little bit of sorrow, because I was closing not only a chapter in my life, but up until this point I was closing what was the book of my life.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Yeah, I hear you. You mentioned that you were, you had already gone to pastry school or you had started to take some classes.
What was that piece of it? And, if you can also give us a little bit of a window into what you do when you're in culinary school, and is it like nine to five or not like what actually happens when you're there?

Steve Konopelski: To clarify a little bit, I had been researching schools and I had enrolled in a school, but I didn't actually start any of my classes until the end of December.

So in April I had signed the papers, I had written the check, all of that kind of stuff, right? It was like we're starting a winter term kind of situation. Pastry school is, we had a couple of different options. You could go nine to five Monday through Friday and be done in six months or for a discounted $15,000, you could go Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, four hours each day, and then it would take you nine and a half months to finish the program. And since I was paying for this outta my own pocket and taking out as bazillion loans as I could find, I was like, we'll go the cheaper route. I did part-time essentially, evenings, three days a week for nine months.

Carol Fishman Cohen: And then what were you doing the rest of the time? Were you doing anything job search or work related, or were you taking a break because you had worked so hard for so long. What was your day to day life like
during that time??

Steve Konopelski: For my first couple of months at pastry school, I didn't really do anything else. My school was a little bit different from a lot of culinary schools that are still in existence, which was, there was no externship required as part of your training. The 600 hours was all spent in actual class. You weren't at the mercy of some other chef for a third of your education and potentially not being shown many things.

Steve Konopelski: And I deliberately chose the program because I was like, I want every second of my classroom hours to be in the classroom with my chef. But our school encouraged internships, would arrange them for you, pretty much wherever you wanted to go. That's how much clout that the FCI had. We could walk into student affairs and say, Hey, I wanna intern at whatever.

A friend of mine, she went in and she was like, I would really like to intern at Per Se. And two days later she had an internship. I interned at a great little restaurant in Manhattan called Saxon and Parole. And after being an intern there for about maybe three weeks, three, three weeks, perhaps a month, they're like, Hey, we're gonna pay you now.

And I was like, Great. So all of a sudden, I'm working in a restaurant. I'm still a student. I'm just getting fully immersed in this world.

Carol Fishman Cohen: That sounds super interesting because the internship is almost like you're dabbling it like, almost like as a volunteer, but in a very relevant area.

And then you have the part-time work that you're doing. So again, you are in the classroom, but you're also applying what you learned in an actual restaurant. So a lot of great experience when you take all of that together. So when you graduated from the program, did you stay at that restaurant in a bigger role or did you move on to something else?

Steve Konopelski: I actually left that job about a month before graduation. Our graduation had a, we had a very intense sort of final project, had to build basically like a sugar show piece that then also supported a cake and had all of these things. And I knew that it was gonna be a lot of work. So I said to my chef, I've been here about six months, I'm graduating from culinary school soon, and I just really wanna be able to focus my last sort of month there. And he understood and it actually ended up that he was gonna be leaving that restaurant as well. So it was kind of just one of those things.The industry, at least at that time, and it was one of the things that was taught to us in culinary school is jump around, six months here, six months there, maybe a year here. Learn from as many people as you can before you finally find what your lane is going to be. Dabble in all of the things, because you can't really just walk out of culinary school and say, All right, restaurants, that's me. I'm gonna live here for the rest of my life.

It's basically sample from the buffet, as it were, until you find where you feel that you fit. When culinary school was finished and I graduated, then I got a job at a hotel ‘cause I wanted to experience batch cooking. There's a real difference in creating a cake for nine people and making a cake for 9,000 people.

That is a totally different set of skills. And I wanted to experience that. And then after I did that, I was like, I wanna be in something else. I was gravitating towards more fine dining experience and I called up alumni at the school and I was like, Hey, what do, what's, and they're like, James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Claudia Fleming, name drop, is currently looking for an assistant. We can make an arrangement for you. We'll arrange an interview, and the next day they call me back. They're like, So you have your interview at this day. Go out and meet with her, and see what happens. And I ended up working for Claudia for a whole year and loved every second of it.

Carol Fishman Cohen: And there's that network again, the alumni network from the French Culinary Institute was the ticket in a sense to having that kind of connection. So really interesting. Can you tell us a little bit about the entrepreneurial side of this and when you decided to start your own business and how did that evolve over time?.

Steve Konopelski: In my head, first seeing this food as entertainment kind of thing, I think somewhere always deep down in the vessels of my soul was this, you're going to be your own boss or have your own thing or this, that, and whatever. And while I was working for Claudia, the restaurant was also a little bit of an in, which kind of naturally led into this, Oh, B and B is this type of world. And it ended up that my, my husband and I moved away from New York down to Maryland to be closer to his family, and we bought a 150 year old Victorian house. And we're like, Let's do a B and B and all that.

It was not Under the Tuscan Sun. It definitely was a lot more work than that. So anyone who has these visions of grandeur about B and B life, it is a lot more challenging than it appears on the surface. But we basically just set this goal for ourselves. We want to create a great atmosphere for people, and we want to allow our business model to evolve.

And that was part of our plan, is we can't plan. We can have a bit of a direction, but we need to be open to whatever might also come our way. The local people might want something else, and that's the way our business was always run. If there's a need, let's try this. If it's not working we'll stop. Reset. Do something else. And I think a lot of that goes back to my dance training and the way I started my whole life in, let's try to do it this way, that's where the technique comes into play. Now let's experiment a little bit, because once we understand this, we can manipulate and change.

Dance is very much like, where does the music take me? How do I feel this? I will allow the movement to evolve a little bit because of how I'm feeling or what's going on in the moment. That's very much acting. It's all of those things. So I think that just felt a natural way to run the business as well.

Steve Konopelski: If we see a need over here, let's do that. Let's try this. We started with a B and B, quickly became, let's offer brunches for the local people so that they can come in and eat because they didn't want to pay to stay the night, but they still wanted the food, which naturally led to participating in the farmer's market. And the farmer's market, we would sell out so fast. We're like, why are we packing up everything and going to the park? Let's just open the front doors of the B and B every Saturday morning and have a little thing here. And that evolved and eventually we were able to open a standalone bakery, and it just kept on going.

Carol Fishman Cohen: It just, we rode the wave, and if it didn't work, then try something else. There's no failure in trying. Well, so many lessons here, just this ultimate sort of the growth mindset, the agility, in terms of your approach to how you were always trying things and seeing what was working, what was not working, super interesting.

How long of a time period was that?

Steve Konopelski: The bed and breakfast was opened in 2015. We bought the house in 2014 and our bakery opened in 2019. The bakery was so successful that we actually ended up closing the B and B because just the energy that was involved in running the bakery and then the pandemic killed us as it did so many. So we were sort of casualties of that as so many were. But, I don't believe in coincidence. Coincidence is when opportunity meets preparation. And around the time that we could see the writing on the wall, that there wasn't much of an end in sight to Covid in 2020 is when I found the job posting for the teacher with Escoffier.

And I just thought to myself, You know what? I'm gonna give this a shot. Let me interview here and see what happens. And as part of my interview with the school, they were sort of like, You have this business. If you got the job, what would you do? And I was like, I would close the business, so that I can dedicate myself fully to this. And when the offer came, that was just that, when one door closes, a window was opened somewhere and we just pivoted and evolved and said, Okay, that everything is lining up to where it should. And I now work for a school that also is that same sort of principle of the importance of technique, but we also have a really great name.

Auguste Escoffier is like the god of the modern kitchen. So I've found myself back in this same type of world where it's so important to educate yourself with those base fundamentals so that you can let the world be your oyster or cake as it will.

Carol Fishman Cohen: That's funny.

Steve Konopelski: You can have your cake and eat it too, everybody. You can!

Carol Fishman Cohen: Steve can you briefly tell us what you do as an instructor. Who are the students? What's your approach? Does someone have to have a certain amount of experience in the kitchen before they can even take the class? Tell us a little bit about the school itself and how you teach in it.

Steve Konopelski: So the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is actually a little bit groundbreaking in some ways. We have two in person, ground campuses, one in Boulder and one in Austin. But we also have an online program, and that's a little bit ooh, how do we do cooking school online? And on the surface it seems a little bit like, how does this work?

We have the advantage of being able to essentially reach everyone. So this is not a situation of elitism or we have to live in this certain vicinity, or I have to pack it up and move my whole life to wherever in order to be able to attend this. So we have access to pretty much anyone and everyone.

It feels a very, it feels a little Lady Liberty, give me your tired, huddled masses. And we have a lot of students that are coming from every walk of life. We have career changers, we have fresh out of high school that are I'm not really sure and here's an opportunity for "tech school" without having to actually be in a physical building.

We have a home baker that just wants to hone their skills, not really looking to enter the professional world per se, but they wanna be better at what they're doing. They want empowerment. And then we have people that have been in the industry, maybe they've only been in the culinary side of things and pastry is a little bit new to them or vice versa.

So we have the whole kit and caboodle, really. And the way the program works is we have videos that have been filmed in professional kitchens that illustrate the technique that our students watch. They will meet in a sort of an online zoom format with the chef instructor where we elaborate on a lot of the technical requirements for each week.

They create their work, there is a series of photo documentation that needs to happen, and then I assess that, and based on what my technical knowledge already is, I can pinpoint very quickly, Okay, a meringue is not at stiff peaks. I can tell you didn't sift your flour, I can tell that this is over baked based on all of the visual cues that I've spent my career learning and recognizing.

So the format is slightly different. It's a little, but the base technique and skills and fundamentals are there.

Carol Fishman Cohen:Can you tell us a little bit about your experience on the Food Network ?

Steve Konopelski: Yes. So that was again, one of those, preparation meets opportunity kind of thing, and it was the January of 2015. So of course, our B and B hadn't even opened yet. We weren't even in renovations yet. And I saw posting in social media, it was very vague. It was like looking for pastry chefs for a television show. That was it. And I'm like, the actor in me, Oh, this is my chance, this is my break.

So I submitted my resume and I think probably a tragic chef headshot or whatever. And a couple months later I saw the same post, but this time it had more information. It was, The Food Network specifically looking for either trained pastry chefs or home baker, da da, da da.

So I submitted again. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. And, about maybe about a month later, I got a phone call from a casting director. And then they were like, Hey, this is interesting. We'd like to chat with you more. Can you please make a little five minute video just so we can see your personality?

And I'm like, Oh, personality! I have some of that. And show us some pictures of the things you've done. And then it became like a month long process of telephone interview, video interview, send us another thing, this, that, and whatever. And, after about the second round of this, I said to my husband, I'm like, I've got this in the bag.

I know how casting works. We don't invest this much time in you if we're not interested. And, it was just going back into what I knew and then when they said, you've booked the gig, and I was like, Great. And, flew out to Los Angeles. For anyone who currently has Hulu or Discovery Plus, this is Holiday Baking Championship, season two. So binge watch it everybody. It's great. I won't spoil it for you. I probably will. But day one of being there, and meeting all of the other contestants and whatnot, I quickly began to realize that this is not a baking competition. This is a television show. And, it was not a foreign place for me.

I was used to cameras being around. I was used to that “being on” kind of thing. As I looked around and saw everybody else, I was like, Oh, this is typecasting. You're the old person, you're the ingenue, you're the, we need, you're ethnic. I'm the gay one. Got it. Okay.

I know where my role is in this and I just knew you have to bake, 'cause that's the premise of this thing. But you also have to be entertaining and you have to be engaging and as long as you make good television and don't burn the place to the ground , you'll probably do quite well.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Interesting. Wow. All right. I made a note. you said it was holiday baking?

Steve Konopelski: Holiday Baking Championship Season Two. And then you will also see me in, there was a couple other single episode appearances that I did all through the Holiday Baking Championship series. There is Sweet Revenge and Runner Up Redemption.

Oh. I think I spoiled what happened in season two by saying I was in Runner Up Redemption.

Carol Fishman Cohen: I wasn't listening to that part, so it wasn't a spoiler for me.

Steve Konopelski: And then I also was in Season One of Haunted Gingerbread Showdown. So I had four opportunities to be graced with the Food Network.

PS if anyone from Food Network is currently listening, my cell phone's number is still the same. You may call me, I'm happy to come back. Would love to do it again. Had a great time. Just saying.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Okay, we'll try to make sure that they hear that. Alright, so Steve, we need to wrap up now, but before I ask you this last question that we ask all of our podcast guests, just a technical question, so you're talking about the different, there's the culinary part and the pastry part, so pastry itself is its own specialty within the culinary world. And are there subspecialties like people who are really good at certain types of pastries or desserts or how does that work?

Steve Konopelski: Well, the pastry umbrella covers breads, confiserie, which is candy, chocolatier work, ice cream, gelato, decorated cakes, bakery life, all of that is under the umbrella of a pastry chef sort of program. But there is a moment where you do want to specialize. Like chocolatiers really focus in that world. And yes, they can, they can still bake and they can do all that.

That was part of their education, but they've really honed their skills in the chocolate world, which is kind of its own animal. So there's definitely a subspecies as it were within the pastry umbrella. The same thing is true on the culinary side of thing, even just something as like, you're gonna focus really in more like a barbecue and that type of world. You're going to focus in molecular astronomy, that's it's its own sort of little subspecies. Vegan cooking is the same technique, but it's obviously a very focused base than the, you're run of the mill kind of thing.

And, when I was in pastry school, we were encouraged at some point during this program, find where you think you might want to land because a bakery life is very different from the restaurant life, is very different from the couture wedding cake type of world. So at some point you have to specialize.

If you try to, here's a great quote, everybody, if you try to master everything, you'll be good at nothing. You really need to find your lane, and then just give it your 100%. And don't worry what the people on either side of you are doing, cause that's their lane. You don't need to be in their lane.

You're in your lane, and if your lane shifts, then follow the road. If you come to a fork in it, you have to make a decision. But that's your lane. Live in your lane and just own it.

Carol Fishman Cohen: That sounds like the answer to what is your best piece of advice for a relauncher audience, even if we've already talked about it today.

But I still wanna ask you that question in case you have anything else to add.

Steve Konopelski: I do. I want to share this quick story about my first day of culinary school. I was petrified because I was in a whole new world and I felt like I didn't know who I was. I had no identity because I had closed up my performing life and I really wanted to focus wholeheartedly in this chef thing.

And the first day we're standing there we're all in our brand new clean white chef coat, and I was having second thoughts and I'm going, Did I do the right thing? And feeling very afraid. And it so happened that the chef that was doing our Onboarding that day was Chef Tony. And I never had Chef Tony again the rest of the time that I was at culinary school.

But Chef Tony had been a dancer with Alvin Ailey, and so she told us that in her introduction and when the class was over, I went up to her and I was like, Chef Tony, I'm a conservatory kid. I'm a Broadway kid. I really feel very lost here and I don't know how to start this new journey. Can you please give me a little bit of advice? How was this for you?

And she just stopped and she said, You will be excellent in this industry, and here is why. As a dancer, you understand the importance of repetition, muscle memory, technique. You understand the importance of spatial awareness. You understand the importance of seeing what needs to be done and replicating that. You understand the importance of having somebody above you.

You understand the importance of keeping your eye and ear on that person who is in charge at all times. That's everything you learned as a dancer, and that's everything you need in the kitchen. You have not lost anything. You have just turned the kitchen into the studio that you know. It's the same, it's the same skills. It's just the decor has changed.

And as soon as she said that, yeah. It became very easy. And that's my biggest piece of advice to any relauncher. You're not starting over again. You have X number of years of dedicated hard work, professional experience, life experience that you are bringing to this new chapter.

So don't think of it as something new, it's just the decor changed. You're bringing everything you know. The decor just changed. That's it.

Carol Fishman Cohen: That is fantastic advice. And also, I just love the way you're talking about what those transferable skills are. It's not like a resume builder kind of thing.

There's certain elements of your prior experience that were endemic to the actual doing of it? That sounds like they're so applicable.

Steve Konopelski: And more than likely, that's the reason you're in the new place that you are, is because the skills that you have had, and that's your path. It's just led you to this place.

That's why the new people want you. They want you because you've got 25 years of professional life experience. They want that and it, it's just the decor changed.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Powerful. Steve, before we sign off, can you tell us tell our listeners how we can all find out more about your work and the Auguste Escoffier Culinary Art school. Is there a website? Is there something that they should be looking at?

Steve Konopelski: Absolutely? Find and follow Escoffier on all of your social media platforms, tikTok, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook carrier pigeon, whatever. and you can learn about the school at, E S C O F F I E R, dot E D U, and that is our school's website.

That includes all information on the online program and the ground campus programs as well. We have a culinary program, a pastry program. We actually have a plant based program now, and we have a holistic program also. The world is your oyster, unless of course you're plant based.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Thank you so much, Steve. This has been a delightful conversation.

Steve Konopelski: Thank you so very much for having me. It's a pleasure to be here, and maybe we do this again. Who knows?

Carol Fishman Cohen: All right, thank you. And to our listeners, thanks for listening to 3,2,1 iRelaunch, the podcast where we discuss return to work strategies, advice, and success stories.

I'm Carol Fishman Cohen, the CEO and co-founder of iRelaunch and your host. And once again, I want to remind our listeners who are actively relaunching to make sure to register and upload your resume to our iRelaunch Job Board because that's where employers who are looking to hire relaunchers are regularly perusing to find candidates for their career reentry jobs and programs.

Be sure to visit iRelaunch.Com to access our many return to work tools and resources and to sign up for a mailing list so you can receive our weekly Return to Work Report featuring career reentry jobs and programs. Thanks for joining us.

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