Chef Edward Gutierrez, a chef-instructor at The Culinary School of Fort Worth, was awarded Chef Educator of the Year by the Fort Worth chapter of the Texas Chefs Association (TCA). Chef G, as his students and colleagues know him, was nominated by the other members of the TCA before the award was put to a vote which he ultimately won.

For Chef G, this award completes a very successful 16 months of his career. In March of 2019 Gutierrez passed his ACF exam to become a Certified Executive Chef.

“After getting my CEC, it inspired me so much that it changed my outlook and pushed me to continue striving and achieving excellence in every aspect of my life,” Gutierrez said. “I am currently working towards becoming an evaluator for the ACF and being Educator of the Year helps me validate my time in the industry.”

Chef G spent the first 13 years of his culinary career working in various kitchens across the world during his time in the Navy and the years that followed. After those 13 years, he realized that it was time to take on a task that would start affecting the future of the culinary industry.

Gutierrez started with The Culinary School of Fort Worth as an adjunct instructor before quickly being hired on full time. He took the job with the goal to help the local culinary scene by helping guide the future chefs of DFW.

One of these chefs, a CSFTW alum, Antonio Conejo has described his time with Chef G as nothing short of excellent.

“As somebody who is passionate about the culinary arts, having a mentor whose skill matches his passion to such a degree is a privilege that I will be forever grateful for,” Conejo said. “He is an educator who goes above and beyond to teach those who truly have a desire to learn and grow.”

CSFTW Culinary Operations Manager and Chef Instructor Ethan Starr echoed Conejo’s words.

“I am very proud of Edward for this achievement, although it does not surprise me; I have worked alongside Edward for almost two years and learn something new nearly every day,” Starr said. “He has a lot of passion for what he does, and the students here really feed off of that.”

A lot of Chef G’s passion stems from his desire to see his students grow and improve. His greatest satisfaction and biggest rewards as an educator come when he can watch a student that starts the program with limited culinary knowledge grow and develop their skill.

According to Chef Starr, though, the students aren’t the only ones that he sees growing at the school. Gutierrez is constantly pushing himself to be better, too.

“His dedication to self-improvement is inspiring as he is constantly doing research in order to become more knowledgeable in his trade,” Starr said. “It is an honor to have him as an employee of the school, and I am humbled to work with him.”

Gutierrez will continue to push himself to grow and get better, but for right now he is taking a second to step back and appreciate the honor that he has been given from the TCA.

“It’s inspiring to know that I am viewed in that light by others,” Gutierrez said. “It validates all of the years of hard work and dedication that I have put into an industry that I am so passionate about.”

Story and photos by James Creange.