My interest in cooking began at an early age as I was exposed to the joys of cooking by my great family and close friends. Every family event was tied to some sort of ceremonious meal and more often than not a bottle of wine or two. From the family reunions on my father’s side, dubbed as “The Corn Party”, to the long and relaxing Sunday brunch at the Orchard (on my mother’s side). Food and cooking always played a role in every significant event of my life.
With this upbringing it was no surprise that my heart led me to culinary school after high school. Weekends in front of the television watching cooking shows on PBS (before Food TV was born) translated into early morning classes learning the finer points of French Cuisine and afternoons spent exploring the kitchens of Johnson & Wales University in Providence Rhode Island. My education is something I will always treasure and I hope to inspire many of my students to explore the possibilities that await them in the kitchen.
In the beginning of my career I worked in Traverse City for a short while exploring the bounty of Northern Michigan just as a culinary renaissance was underway. After a while I got the itch to move on and apply my trade on a bigger stage. With the blessing of a great chef that I was working under in the Detroit area I moved on to Chicago. My experiences working in restaurants like Zealous, Charlie Trotters To Go, North Pond (to mention a few) opened my eyes to a whole new world in terms of technique and tastes. Living and working in such a vibrant city, with so many cultural influences to draw from, was a priceless experience. I was honored to be hired as a chef instructor at The Chopping Block Cooking School just as owner Shelley Young was expanding her business. Working along someone who was so dedicated to spreading the joy of cooking to everyone around her was the most influential step in my career.
I am happy to say that from here on out I am dedicated to bringing the knowledge and skill that has been passed along to me by so many great chefs to all of you. I am sure that you will find our time in the kitchen together a very happy experience. I look forward to sharing a great meal with you soon.