From Wikipedia:

TROLL – In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtrl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[4]

Trolls are amusing. 

They twist and spin, and hiss and spit, and rant and rave, and act like complete and total assholes about one subject or another in online discussions, all the while misspelling every other word, and getting most of the facts wrong along the way.

Nice people are not as amusing.  They weigh in on a subject, letting you know the (actual) facts, spelling stuff right, and trying not to offend or mistreat other people involved in the discussion.

You could say they’re boring. 

The following interview might be a little bit boring.

Especially when compared to the one I did with that hideous fucking Troll who showed up on my Facebook page back in September, this interview, which is a reaction to that interview, is boring as fuck.

My interview subject  —  one Mr. Brian VVolfe  —   is not a boring person, he doesn’t say boring things, but he also doesn’t accidentally write anything hilariously ignorant, or reveal himself to be a racist, or tell me he wants to “puke all over” me the way that Troll did.  Brian is a normal person.  A nice person.

So why did I interview nice guy, Brian? 

Because he’s one of “those idiots” who graduated from ABTech.

In my interview with that Troll, he said the following:

“Ab tech kids get the bullshit idea in their head that they are better then everyone else and ect. They build up their graduates to think they are going to be world class chefs. In reality they are ranked 78th in the country and have a 80% drop out rate. The employers around here love hiring those idiots “

I put out a call on my Facebook Page, asking for graduates of ABTech to contact me if any were willing to go on record and be interviewed about their experiences before, during, and after their stint at ABTech.  Brian answered the call. 

The following is a verbatim transcript of our correspondence.  Nothing has been changed, edited, deleted, or omitted.  I did not “fix” any of my own writing or Brain’s after the fact.  As you can see, Brian, unlike that Troll, has a command of the English language and an ability to form full sentences with words that are spelled correctly and phrases that make sense.  There’s even proper punctuation and use of capitals.

Brian didn’t ask me to “spellingcheck” his interview, the way that Troll did.  He seems to have mastered the art of written communication quite well on his own.  Here’s what he had to say…


Brian VVolfe – Oct 10th, 1:58pm

Hey Stu. I graduated from AB Tech’s Culinary program last May. I don’t quite fit your criteria since I have moved back to Atlanta for work but I would be more than willing to complete an interview if you’re interested. Steve Goff is a friend of mine and just enlightened me on this whole situation.

Stu Helm: The Food Critic – Oct 13th, 8:21am

Hi Brian! Thanks for the note, and the willingness to be interviewed on this subject. It’s true that I’m hoping t interview a ABTech Grad who works in Asheville, but I think it would be great for people to hear what an ABTech grad is doing out there in the world too!

Are you from Asheville originally? Why did you choose ABTech?

Brian VVolfe – Oct 13th, 12:10pm

I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. I looked at CIA, Johnson and Wales in Denver and Charlotte, and the Art Institute. I decided on AB Tech because it was the most realistic to the industry, best value for the quality of curriculum, and the Chef instructors do not just push people through the program for the sake of doing so. The low graduation rate was a a determining factor for me personally because I knew it would be a challenge and I knew I would get more out of school being surrounded by serious, driven individuals.

Stu Helm: The Food Critic – Oct 13th, 1:52pm

That’s awesome! When you graduated — and moved back to Atlanta — what was the first step you took in your career, what positions at what restaurants did you first seek out, how may jobs did you apply for, and how long did it take to find a job?

Do you think your ABTech degree was helpful in your job search, like, people had heard of ABTech, and respected your degree?

Brian VVolfe – Oct 14th, 1:08am

I had a job offer at the end of my first year of school from Chef Joe Schafer at King + Duke but decided to do my internship at McCrady’s in Charleston and finish my degree before I moved back to Atlanta. I worked on the wood burning hearth at King + Duke for 4 months. Chef Joe resigned from King + Duke about a month ago and is taking over as Exec at Abattoir next week. I put my notice in shortly after Joe left and I have been working the line at Bacchanalia for the past week and will be going to Abattoir as Sous Chef next week.

I had already been in the industry for several years before starting school at AB Tech. Most people I have worked with have not heard of AB Tech. Those that have always speak highly of it. The main things I took from AB Tech are technique, professionalism, and respect for this lifestyle and trade. All of which have helped me to where I am today.

I had not heard of AB Tech’s culinary program until I had really started searching for schools. Atlanta is less than 4 hours away. They should definitely broaden their proximity for marketing and advertisement.

Stu Helm: The Food Critic – Oct 15th, 7:52am

Thanks for these answers, Brian! You seem like a real go-getter, with a positive mental attitude, a strong work ethic, and an ability to network. I think those things are essential to success in any venture.

I graduated from a small art school no one has ever heard of called The Art Institute of Boston. It’s not a top-rated school by any means, but it sure as fuck taught me the importance of hard work, a friendly handshake, and a solid skill base when it came time to look for work in the Art industry. It sounds like ABTech is similar in that regard.

Okay, so, you know that I’m interviewing you because of an exchange I had with a hideous Troll through FaceBook. Among other outrageous things, he wrote:

“Ab tech kids get the bullshit idea in their head that they are better then everyone else and ect. They build up their graduates to think they are going to be world class chefs. In reality they are ranked 78th in the country and have a 80% drop out rate. The employers around here love hiring those idiots “

Do you have a reaction to that, as one of “those idiots?”

Please keep in mind that I intend to post your answer, along with your name on my blog, which may be seen by as many as 700+ people, many of them in the food industry.

Brian VVolfe – Oct 17th, 9:15pm

AB Tech is most certainly similar to the Art Institute of Boston in that regard. One benefits and takes from a school as much as they are willing to put into it. As one of “those idiots,” I think that this guy’s uneducated blanket statement about AB Tech’s Culinary program and their graduates is laughable and obviously coming from an incredibly bitter standpoint. He obviously has had run ins with AB Tech graduates and drop-outs that have rubbed him the wrong way. I know that some of this resentment comes from the fact that he was not hired by some of them and not paid very well by others, which only really gives us some insight into the strength of his resume and his talent as a cook. AB Tech’s drop out rate is damn near close to 80% and for good reason. The Culinary Program is part of a Community College that is funded by its state and county. This differs from the private Culinary schools in the nation that charge an arm and a leg for tuition. AB Tech does not benefit at all from pushing unmotivated, untalented, and disinterested people through the program because they are not reaping the reward of their tuition. Private schools, such as the one this gentleman attended, catch a lot of flak from people in the industry for pushing students through because they depend on the profits. AB Tech has such a high drop out rate because it is a difficult program. I saw first hand that people realize very quickly they are not cut out to finish and drop like flies. Everyone that graduated with me is NOT going to be a successful Chef but some of them most certainly are, I have no doubts about this. The vast majority of people that graduated with me worked their asses off for their degree and most certainly deserve some respect for finishing it. AB Tech was most certainly a beneficial stepping stone in my career. I owe a lot of what I know and how I handle myself to Chef John Hofland, Chef Fred Snyder, and my peers.

Stu Helm: The Food Critic – Oct 20th, 6:19am

Thank you so much for these answers and for doing this interview with me, Brian! You obviously have a great attitude and have found success in the food industry as a result of that attitude, combined with hard work, and the skills you learned at ABTech.

I’m going to type this up into a story for my blog and I will let you know when it’s ready for reading and sharing etc.

Do you have any pictures of yourself in action that I can use to illustrate the piece?

Thanks again, Brian! This was terrific!

Brian sent this picture of himself, hard at work in the kitchen.


Yawn.  So boring.  So awesomely, intelligently, well-mannered, thoughtful, informative, and boring.  Brian didn’t even come back to my FaceBook page later to post hardcore gay porn and threaten to punch me in the face the way that Troll eventually did.  As far as I know, he hasn’t written my girlfriend an FB message telling her “I know who you are.  I know where you work.” the way that Troll did either.

I don’t even think he’s going to puke all over me if we ever meet.  SO BORING!!!

I want to thank Brian VVolfe for this interview, it was exactly the tonic this discussion needed after the poisonous infection it got from that Troll.

I would love to hear from more boring people who graduated from ABTech. Are you one of “those idiots”  —  those hard-working, positive minded, successful idiots  — who is now working in the culinary world?  I want to hear your stories, good and bad, about ABTech.

You can send me a private message through my FaceBook page.

Thanks, everyone, for reading this far.  Here’s a reward…

One thought on “ONE OF THOSE IDIOTS

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