About Me

A Little About Me

Hello interwebs! You are probably looking at the picture on the right and wondering, who is that dorky-snot nosed kid on the left. Well, that would be me. You can tell I thought I was the bees knees of the culinary world huh.

Who am I? I am an Ex-Cook who worked in fine dining for 7 short years, I still have some of the burn scars to prove it. In my short tenure I worked at  established fine dining classics in Seattle like Cafe Juanita and The Herbfarm but also worked the corporate cook life at The W Hotel, short stints at other lesser known restaurants and I even planned a Pop-up or two

My first internship experience was at Cafe Juanita, I learned a lot and the lessons and skills I picked up there continue to help and assist me to this day. From their I cooked at Luc a small French Bistro. This is where I cut my teeth, burned my arms and brought thousands of people great tasting meals and probably put out a few dishes that put some frowns on others.... From their I spend some time wandering a few kitchens where I never felt at home. Then I eventually ended up at the Herbfarm for my last 1.5 years in the industry. It was still my favorite experience. In the end, I am sad to be out of the restaurant industry, but I enjoyed it while it lasted.

 I have worked for bosses that made life hell and bosses that knew how to grow young talent. I have worked in kitchens that were small, and dingy and kitchens bigger than the dinning rooms they served. Each new experience taught me and brought along new friends that I still stay in contact with today!

During my time in  those kitchens I have broken down pigs, rabbits, geese, chicken, whole quarters of beef, you name it. I have even made pastry dough, wood-oven baked breads, tarts, ice creams, even house made chocolate! I have worked in developing new recipes and dishes (some good...some bad). Overall, my favorite thing to do was develop and learn as much as I could about food.

If you had ever made the mistake of asking me a question, you know you were about to get an encyclopedia style answer. Maybe you would hear about the reason for proper tempering of chocolate and how it can be likened to making medication or rock candy or maybe you would just get the entire anaerobic cycle quoted to you. Food was and is still my passion and knowing everything I can about it is still very important to me. When I was in the industry, my goal was to get as in depth and as close to the lowest level of understanding of each product that I could handle. I realized that made a huge difference in how you approach food. If you are stuck to high up with merely understanding flavor, you have a harder time bending the rules and manipulating food and the qualities the molecules that build it up provide. However, I am no longer in the restaurant business and it has been about 1.5 years since the last time I have served a plate of food.

Now, it is my turn. I am looking to find the places that know how to tantalize the taste buds and create memorable experiences. Sometimes that means paying 200 dollars for an over complicated assortment of edible flowers, posh foams, spheres and meat that may have been sous-vide for 6 days. Other times, these meals may be scavenged in hole in the wall dives that serve food that would put a pachydermin a coma.

Food has so many different layers and so many different styles. I am often just as happy eating a whimsical meal with all the bells and whistles as I am eating a solid burger. Each of these offer a different outlet of expression. The Chefs that make these meals are awesome and I want to make sure I respect their work! It is easy to put a five star restaurant over a $10 burger joint. But it is like comparing apples to oranges, good food is not always served on white table cloth and out of kitchens filled with interns and immersion circulators. I know it is not easy to please every customer, every time.Whether you are serving burgers or a 10 course meal.

Do you have any places you think are the top restaurants? A portion of this blog will be focused on good food. Part of that comes from knowing where good food is! I have my places, but I am sure there are plenty of places I haven't even heard of. Although, that is not my only goal for this blog.

Along with my quest to eat, I am trying to help the next generation of cooks come up. Some of my posts will discuss menu development, books to be read, tools to own, and just plain advice about moving forward, etc. I am not the most experienced cook out there, but I have had my fair share of failures! I have had my horrible experiences, I have been in the weeds, I have gotten second degree burns that covered 50% of my forearm. I might not be a 20 year veteran of the kitchen but I know my way around a kitchen and I would love to talk to both the those starting out and those who have been doing it a while. It is always great to hear why people chose the restaurant industry and for those of you with a few years under your belt...the stories you have are always pretty crazy. I would love to hear them, so feel free to reach out!

If you have questions about what is like in the industry, or how to get into the top places, I am going to try post about as many of these topics as possible. Maybe you are a young cook and you are looking for knives under 100$ or perhaps you want to find the best cook books to understand food. Then I will try to provide a post to cover that. Good luck to all aspiring chefs! Keeping pushing the boundaries of food and your personal understanding of flavor.

Tags How to Cook,What am I passionate about,Cook life,My Favorite Recipes,After Hours,Kitchen Confidential,Where is good food

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