Photography by Becky Reams
“It’s how they did it in Europe,” Becker said. “They had apprenticeships without formal cooking education.” He auditioned on the spot, improvising out of a kitchen with unfamiliar ingredients: free-range chicken, millet, quinoa and fresh herbs from a hillside garden. Although Becker landed the head chef position, he considers it a “blip” in his robust culinary career. But perhaps it’s that experience that most resembles what he’s trying to do for aspiring chefs nearly 40 years later at The New School of Cooking in Culver City.