Chef Brian McCormick

Chef Brian McCormick discovered a love of cooking while he was in high school. An after-school job as a parking attendant for a local New York Italian restaurant gave him access to the kitchen. Among the aromas, sights, noise, chaos and food, he made his career choice.

In the late 1970s, Chef McCormick obtained an Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America. Industry management was his first choice as he made his way through the DuPoint Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware and then to Mendenhall Inn in Mendenhall, Pennsylvania. Actually becoming a chef happened at The Inn at Long Trail, in Pico, Vermont where, by chance, the resident chef didn't show up for his shift and McCormick's path was forever changed.

Almost twenty years later and now highly skilled in the industry as a chef, McCormick landed in Austin and continued his career at Scholz Beer Garden, Wyndam South Park, Choices Deli and HEB, as one of the founders of the Cooking Connection.

It was at this time that he met Chef Hay, who was starting the Culinary Arts program at ACC. Chef McCormick soon joined the staff and gained a new love – teaching. He says he is amazed at how much he learns from his students, and hopes they learn as much from him.

What does the future hold for Chef McCormick? "One thing I have learned in the last 33 years of cooking is that you may not know where you are going, or exactly how it is going to work out, or where you will end up, but one thing is for sure you will never starve and you most likely will have one hell of a good time getting there. So have fun in the kitchen, eat all your mistakes, and try not to repeat them."

Chef Brian Hay

Chef Brian Hay has been working and learning in the food service industry since the late 1980's. As a young child in Ontario, Canada, he was a faithful viewer of "The Galloping Gourmet", one of television's earliest cooking shows. He moved on to more formal studies in order to realize his dream of becoming a professional chef, earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Hotel and Food Administration from the University of Guelph, Ontario, and a Master of Science degree in Restaurant Management from Purdue University.

A strong believer in life-long learning, Chef Hay also holds a number of professional certifications, including a Sommelier diploma from the International Sommelier Guild and a Gastronomy Certificate from the University of Adelaide in Australia. His future plans include finishing a second Master's degree from Le Cordon Blue in Adelaide, earning a brewmaster's degree, and taking more classes in Vinification.

Chef Hay has been the Program Coordinator for ACC's Culinary Arts program for over a decade. Not only was he responsible for the development of the college's Hospitality Management program, but he also initiated the more recent Travel and Tourism program. He has been teaching Culinary Arts classes at ACC since 1996.

Where does he get his energy from? He says his own inspiration comes from his kids and a simple phrase from Anthony Bourdain: "Good food, good drink, good view, and good company. What else is there in life?"