What’s up, everyone?
I’m excited to use this blog to share all my culinary adventures with you – from research trips, menu innovation and my thoughts on the restaurant game to fun recipes, favorite restaurants, family food traditions and lots more. You’ll also see my own family make appearances here and there – my gorgeous wife Lisa, and our two munchkins Jack, 5, and Olive, 2.
I’ve been with First Watch for three years now as corporate chef. Basically, I get to spend my days developing new menu items, visiting our restaurants across the country, checking out lots of cool new recipes and restaurants, and collaborating with lots of awesome people. Dream job, right? It’s not always glamorous – I’m excited to share some behind-the-scenes looks with you.
To start, I figured I’d tell you a bit about myself. Born and raised in Dunedin, Florida, which is a small town just outside of Tampa. I graduated from Johnson & Wales in 2005 (best culinary school in the nation!) then spent some time working in fine dining for the Ritz-Carlton on South Beach and Tampa’s Café Ponte. Then I entered the wonderful world of fondue and started working with the Melting Pot, where we set the Guinness World Record for Largest Cheese Fondue Set – pretty awesome! I spent 7 years with The Melting Pot and served as manager of culinary development, director of food and beverage and ultimately corporate chef.
2014 was a good year – FSR Magazine put me on their Top 40 Under 40 list – which was a huge honor and really helped me to realize my potential in the corporate world! It was a fast and furious pace though as within 6 short months I took on a new job, moved my family of 3 to a new home and turned our party of 3 into a 4-top! Plus, I made the transition to First Watch’s corporate chef in sunny Sarasota. A lot has happened during these three years, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
Stay tuned as we have a lot of really fun travel and exciting news lined up for this year!