I worked professionally in the culinary field for a total of sixteen years. As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, I have worked in a variety of places, both in the U.S. and overseas.
I first started out in one of my uncle's restaurant at the age of thirteen. Beginning as a bus boy and dish washer, and continued to work in various restaurants until I graduated high school. It was after high school that I considered a professional career in the culinary industry. After completing a one-year Biblical studies program at Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque, Iowa, I decided to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. While at the Culinary Institute, I spent five months at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago.
Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute, I started working at Printer's Row in Chicago. While at Printers Row, I followed another passion, ice sculpture at Nadeau's Ice Sculptures in Forest Park.
My ultimate goal as a cook was to gain some European training. I decided to travel overseas where I spent two years working in four different countries. Starting off in Bourg en Bress, France, working for Chef Jacques Guy. After France, I moved on to Geneva, Switzerland, where he studied Swiss pastries and chocolates under the guidance of Heniz Hochwahr at Patisserie Mage. From Geneva, I went to the island of Santorini, Greece, where he worked at the restaurant, Selene with George and Evelyn Haziyannakis. The final part of my training was spent in the small town of Polesenine, Italy, at the Restuarant El Cavallino Bianco, working with Chef Massimo Spigarola.
When I returned to the States, I worked in various places in Chicago but felt that it was time to take a break from the rigorous culinary life and go back to school. I received my bachelors degree in computer programming and quickly became interested in web development. It was in 1999 that I started ChefTalk.com and it has been going strong ever since.
Cooking, growing my own food, making things from scratch (yogurt, bacon, applesauce, etc), reading (bible (born again Christian), Lord Of The Rings), hunting (upland game mostly), travel, Greece (where my father's family originates).