Growing up in a small community on eastern Long Island, ICASI Education Director Chef Tim McCoy lived in close proximity to the vibrant ethnic food scene in New York City. He took every opportunity to explore other cultures through their cuisines. Despite his love of food, Chef McCoy originally intended to pursue an academic career. He moved to Cleveland and studied at Case Western Reserve University until a college job landed him in a restaurant kitchen and ignited his interest in professional cooking. Chef McCoy worked in a steady succession of restaurants recognized regionally for the quality of their operations. During this time he gained broad-based experience in a diversity of cuisines and cooking techniques, management skills, administrative functions, and effective teaching and training techniques. These experiences provided the basis for his professional development and the development of the skill set he shares with ICASI students.Chef McCoy likes to combine his culinary interests and academic interests with his personal outlook. He believes that simply learning techniques or recipes is not the proper way to appreciate any cuisine, but that it is necessary to understand the context in which it developed. Geography, historical experience, spiritual values, and aesthetic sensibilities all contribute to the development of cuisine. Food is more than just sustenance. Each cuisine represents a distillation of the heart, soul, and psyche of the culture in which it was created. If the world's cuisines are approached with this in mind, the cook will gain some measure of connection to the people who created them.