Start Date

25-5-2020 12:30 PM

End Date

25-5-2020 12:45 PM


In an increasingly busy world, disruption of many kinds is inherent in the activities of modern living. In our lengthy and global food chain, this causes disturbance to the food supply, the food environment, the food producer, the food product, the consumer, public health and more recently the world climate (Wilson, 2020). The extent of the impact of this current change on the professional kitchen and the adaptation required to meet such disturbance, provides the landscape for this paper. For the professional chef, survival in this competitive work environment may require ‘disruptive innovation’ (Christensen et al. 2015), while mindlessness of the disruptor may be detrimental. This paper discusses how culinary educators, through pedagogy, can enable chef students not only meet these needs but also facilitate the exploration of a personal approach to the challenge. Mindfulness according to Langer (2000, p.220) is a flexible state of mind, that enables active engagement with the present, noticing change and resulting in a more sensitive and skilful response to the challenge. Engaging in mindful learning avoids limiting mind-sets (Langer, 2000, p.220) instead, as a reflective practice; it deepens understanding and increases the connection and interrelatedness of the subject matter. This paper explores the potential of the Langerian mindfulness approach in culinary education, to ‘disrupt’, and thus empower chefs maintain personal awareness and be skilful amidst change. It juxtaposes the common negative interpretation of disruption with that of mindful-focused valuable disruption. Some possible applied learning opportunities, for culinary students at varying levels of study, will be devised and discussed.



May 25th, 12:30 PM May 25th, 12:45 PM

Empowering Chefs to Disrupt the ‘Disruptors’: a Diametrical Dilemma for Mindful Learning