FEED 65 : Rencontre avec Kirsten et Mandy Dixon


Le 18 septembre, Connect Institute a reçu pour son FEED 65, Kirsten et Mandy Dixon, deux chefs qui sont venues de l’Alaska pour partager leurs expériences avec les jeunes d’Agadir.

On the 18th of September, Connect Institute had its FEED 65 with Kirsten and Mandy Dixon. The two chefs came all the way from Alaska to share their experiences with the youth of the institute as well as other guests.

Kirsten Dixon quit her job as a nurse before she went on to be a chef and build a lodge from scratch in the Alaskan wilderness, along with her husband who also quit his job as a doctor for that purpose and because he likes nature. Now, Kirsten earns a successful family business, and spends most of her time mentoring other people and sharing what she learnt with them while her daughter does the cooking. Chef Kirsten reveals that she owes her accomplishments mostly to constant learning. She says: “I am still learning; 35 years later, and every day I learn a new thing. Learning never stops: stay curious!” Her daughter, Chef Mandy, was homeschooled until the age of 17, before she had to leave the comfortable family nest and go face a world she knew nothing about. To do that, she had to write a personal essay twice, mentioning why she should be granted a scholarship that would financially support her during her studies. Even though  leaving  her family  proved to be very difficult for her, she persisted, got two diplomas (both in cooking and pastry), and worked in several restaurants before deciding, after about 6 years, to join the family business in Alaska. She admits that her rich journey was the fruit of hard work and courage. She advises: “Don’t be afraid to do something that looks so intimidating or far from your reach.” Chef Mandy made – and she still does make- many sacrifices for the sake of doing what she is passionate about: she starts her day by waking up at 4AM, and works 14 hours per day. Kirsten and Mandy said that when they attempted to write their first cookbook, the task seemed to be impossible, because they had no previous knowledge and experience in that department . But, they did write it and were able to publish 4 cookbooks so far.

Even though the Dixon family has the chance to make their business bigger and gain more from it, they prefer not to. Because to them, excellence in service and great performance matter more than materialistic gain. They now own only  6 cabins managed by 11 people in total.

Through listening and interacting with the young attendees, Mandy and Kirsten Dixon were able to prove that hard work, courage and constant learning offer to everyone the possibility to achieve their dreams. As Chef Kristen puts it:” Learn many things and be creative; to live your one precious life.”

Fatima Zahra El Hafa

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