Professor Spotlight: Chef Mark Molinaro

A look at the man beneath the Chef’s hat 🍴

You may know him as one of the lively, humorous, Hotel and Restaurant Management professors, but there’s more to Chef Mark than the apron and chef hat he dons.

Q: Hometown?

A: Cleveland Heights, OH

Q: Blue or gold?

A: Yes

Q: Do you prefer Flagstaff summer or winter?

A: Yes, we love the changing of the seasons.

Q: Do you prefer the spring or fall?

A: Fall, because spring is a little windy and it’s harder to ride my motorcycle. Fall is so beautiful with the colors and the smells.

Q: When did you come to NAU & why?

A: Summer 2013, looking for an opportunity to be in Arizona and closer to family.

Q: What is your favorite spot on campus?

A: My kitchen.

Q: Where’s the best place on campus to grab a bite to eat?

A: My kitchen.

Tip: Email Chef Mark to get in on his HRM Tasting sessions. HRM students cook & YOU taste. Sessions include: Savvy soups, Meat Madness, Pasta Palooza & Sweet Endings.

Q: What is your favorite picture on your phone?

A: The first time my boys were climbing a tree together.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

A: “If you leave room for error, error will happen.”

Q: What is a tip every Lumberjack should know?

A: Don’t let your education happen to you. Be involved.

Q: What do you want your students to walk away with from your class?

A: Realize that the day to day of what you do is only a part of what is important in your role. It is more important to continue learning in your career, connect with people, putting them first, and improve your team.

Q: What is something students might not know about you?

A: I ride a motorcycle and I make noise on a guitar.

Q: What is your favorite thing about working at NAU?

A: The students, faculty and staff.

Q: Describe your typical day on campus.

A: Ride in and get into uniform. I walk the kitchen to make sure everything is ready for the day. I make myself a French press pot of coffee. Then I connect with the TA, check emails and get ready for class.

Q: On the weekends where can we expect to find you?

A: Hiking or biking with my family, visiting the Arboretum.

Q: What’s your favorite dish you’ve ever made?

A: Risotto, hands down. You cannot lose focus on the dish. You have to stay with it from beginning to end. It really trains focus and discipline.

Q: What do you like most about cooking?

A: Creating an environment that produces smiles, good conversation and engagement. When we cook in the kitchen we use our hands and our minds to create something that you put into your body, it’s very intimate. I have a lot of respect and humility for that.It is a very rare art form and I feel very proud to be a part of it.

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It’s always a great day to be a Lumberjack! Join the conversation and share your #NAU story.

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