This is my personal site where I share with you the Killer Food I find, where I live, work and visit. I put together amazing recipes you will hopefully enjoy. You can subscribe to my podcast in iTunes and hear it on stitcher.
I have been in the food world my entire life. I started cooking as a small child with my Great Grandmother Iva Ruthruff. I have to thank her for taking me by her side and keeping me out of trouble as a kid. I remember when I was in 5th grade, one of our assignments was to write a letter to my parents and tell them what I wanted to be when I grew up. With my poor handwriting I scribbled out I wanted to be a chef, this was before being a chef meant being on TV, and drew a picture of a salad. My teacher sealed the letter and gave it to my parents. When I was first accepted to culinary school, at the time it was Western Culinary Institute (WCI) in Portland Oregon, on the day I was to drive across-country with my dear friend Jackie, my mother surprised me with a small business envelope. I opened it to find that very same letter from the fifth grade. I spent some time in high school working at national pizza chains in Lansing, MI. It amazes me how “learning to hustle” in restaurants has stuck with me over the years. Working in restaurants gave me a perspective on life and how to be organized that other careers simply could not.
I graduated WCI in 1995 and pursued my career working in restaurants. I have worked with some amazing Chefs over the years at various restaurants. The first restaurant I worked for was Dusty’s Wine Bar in Okemos, MI. The Chef hired me on as a prep-cook and three months later I found myself as a Sous-Chef in charge of opening the kitchen every morning.
In 1999 I was talking to a friend of mine, Mataio, from Western Culinary. He was explaining to me how his consulting job was bigger than he expected. I finally said, “If you need some help, just ask.” Two weeks later I was in the car driving to Bellingham Washington to help him open a new restaurant. We rebuilt an old grocery store into a fantastic casual dining restaurant. After we finished our time there I moved back to Michigan to become the Executive Chef of the Red Cedar Grill in Okemos.
During a short break from restaurants to take control of my health (I lost 100 lbs) I worked as a consultant for The Michigan Athletic Club. It was my responsibility to create menus and operation tools for their poolside dining area. It was at that time when I realized how much I loved educating people so I returned to school in order to earn my Masters degree.
I started by attending The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY where I earned my bachelors degree in Culinary Arts Management in 2008. During my time at Florida International University, working on my Masters degree, I became a Culinary Instructor in Tianjin, China. I received my Masters degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from FIU in December of 2010.
I am currently living in Alameda, CA with my girlfriend Mikey and two dogs Sonny & Sammy. In my free time I enjoy going to the movies, reading about technology as it relates to Apple products and checking out farmers markets and don’t let me forget cooking KILLER FOOD!
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