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Professor Sodikoff? Au Cheval/Hogsalt Founder May Open A Culinary School

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The school would be no cost.

Brendan Sodikoff
Brendan Sodikoff
Kari Skaflen/Hogsalt
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

It's no surprise that Brendan Sodikoff has more restaurants in the works. The Hogsalt founder said in a WGN interview they've signed some new leases, so soon he'll add more restaurants to the portfolio that includes Au Cheval, Gilt Bar and Bavette's. But in an unconventional move, Sodikoff also dropped that he's working on establishing a culinary school.

Sodikoff said education within and outside Hogsalt is important, and he's working toward creating a "no-cost" culinary school to help bring back the apprenticeship model of culinary learning. His remarks came in an interview by WGN Radio's Justin Kaufmann on "The Download." They chatted on a variety of topics including Hogsalt's creed to ensure everyone is replaceable. Cross-training the company's 500 or so employees is important to Sodikoff, though he relents that "newspapers" often put him in the spotlight, something he's reluctant to take. Sodikoff later e-mailed about Hogsalt's mentoring program.

"Leaders develop and train people to take on their roles by mentoring people into their position. They make themselves replaceable by developing others skill set to the point they are no longer needed. Our leaders and team are crucial to the organization."

Sodikoff has no shortage of ideas, but sometimes it takes a while for those plans to become reality. Prospective students will have to wait and see when this culinary school idea will materialize. Wonder if they'll teach them the secret to Au Cheval's burger.