Cooking & Collaboration Build Business for ENTR Student

Published on January 10, 2012

Entrepreneurship Student Reznick Teaches Corporate Teams and Lil’ Chefs
Business Skills through Cooking

Entrepreneurship student Tattiana Reznick, right, is teaching teamwork through cooking with her businesses, School of Lil’ Chefs and Culinary Synergy.

Patience, leadership, organization, time management, and teamwork — these are skills that every successful business requires, and coincidentally, skills also required for cooking.

University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business student Tattiana Reznick, who is majoring in entrepreneurship through the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship (WCE), is combining business and cooking with Culinary Synergy, her company that focuses on corporate team-building by teaching problem solving and innovation techniques in a professional kitchen.

Culinary Synergy began as the School of Lil’ Chefs, her original concept for cooking parties and cooking team-building classes for kids.

“I love seeing how excited my Lil’ Chefs get when their hands are covered with cookie dough,” Reznick said. “We believe in having fun and making a mess. A unique bond forms from cooking together. I have witnessed this firsthand. I created Culinary Synergy to expand this concept to adults.”

In the fall, Reznick held her first cooking class for adults, bringing together her WCE classmates and their professional mentors at the UH Hilton kitchen, which turned out to be a great success, she said.

“It was a way for the students and the mentors to interact and learn more about each other in a fun and more casual environment,” she added.

Building a business might seem intimidating for someone in their early 20s, but Reznick said her involvement in the entrepreneurship program at UH Bauer has given her an edge by providing ample access to feedback from business owners and entrepreneurs.

“Because one of my customer segments is business owners, I was able to receive valuable feedback from the WCE program mentors that I can use to better understand what my clients value as a successful team-building event and what they would expect to receive from booking a similar event,” Reznick said.

The culinary might not seem like the most obvious choice for a business student, but for Reznick, cooking is a family affair — her parents run Rustika Café & Bakery, a unique café located in the heart of Houston.

“I learned from watching my parents cook in the kitchen. My mom is an incredible baker and artist. I wanted to be like her and would always experiment in the kitchen,” she said. “I got the idea of teaching cooking class when I was 17, needed a job and wanted to give other kids the same experience I had of being able to experiment in the kitchen without worrying about making a mess. In the end, I learned from trial and error, which has given me the confidence to try new things and tweaking recipes to make them my own.”

After seeing success in her younger clients, Reznick realized teaching team-building in the kitchen would be a good fit for the city’s vibrant business community as well.

“Through Culinary Synergy, I hope to continue to grow and improve Houston’s corporate synergy through culinary expression and share my passion for great food, meaningful interactions and having fun,” Reznick said.

By Ryan Tang