The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Student chef finds tweets can open doors

By Karen Gavis/se news editor

SE culinary student Donald Williams can cook, but he said becoming a successful chef involves more than just cooking, a whole lot more.

And hospitality management instructor James Traister said he is helping Williams and others learn how to shorten the journey from kitchen to success by utilizing Twitter.

“I’ve seen the power in it,” he said. “From a business standpoint, I get it.”

Traister secured Williams a private chef position with NHRA drag car driver Tina Stull within days, and it was just a matter of tweeting, he said.

“He [Traister] teaches real world,” Williams said.

Williams has 18 years of sales experience. But after becoming a victim of downsizing, he decided to do what he loves — cook.

“It was one of those things that kind of lay dormant,” he said.

Williams said people can be lectured to all day about cooking, but if they don’t get out of the kitchen and actually do something, they are only getting half the story.

“I do not want to get a degree and start off at the bottom of the food chain,” he said. “I want to accelerate the process a little bit.”

Things did accelerate Sept. 23 at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, where Williams served up food to Stull and her drag racing team.

“It was actually a blast,” he said. “I had a ball out there.”

Williams said he specializes in comfort food. For the team, he prepared pot roast, stuffed green peppers, deviled eggs, mashed potatoes and green beans.

For the owner, Terry Sullivan, he specially made sugar-free, applesauce-walnut muffins.

“Everybody loved those muffins,” he said.

Stull said the food was excellent.

“It was really nice to have good, nutritious food during a race,” she said. “Most of the time we grab and go.”

Stull will even be part of a live in-class tweet session Nov. 3.

“When used properly, Twitter is an awesome tool,” she said. “I have gotten a lot of work from it.”

Recently, Stull was listed No. 27 of the most influential people on Twitter by Twittergrader.com. She said the trick is being genuine, open and sincere.

“If they like you, they will do business with you,” she said.

Traister said he has no interest in racing and knows nothing about cars, but he and Stull could connect right away via Twitter.

“I didn’t brown-nose her. I didn’t kiss her butt,” he said.

Traister said the art is in being human and making small talk.

“You don’t just go up to someone and sell yourself right away,” he said.

Traister said it is about networking, and students can use the social media platform to make connections a lot faster. He always wants his students to stay one step ahead of the competition and to be aware of social media because it will be part of the training in the future, he said.

 

 
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