Growing up in suburban Charleston, South Carolina, I guess I had the same culinary upbringing as everyone else in this generation. You know the one. The kind of diet that most Americans are still faced with today. Canned food, fast food, and snack food. When there was meat on the table it was always commodity market industrialized proteins and when there were fresh vegetables, they were always cooked to death. (sorry mom, youve become a wonderful cook today) I always loved being in the kitchen though and as long as i can remember ive always been fascinated by it.
I was going to be a rock star when i grew up. For almost ten years I played Punk, touring the country and living like tomorrow didn't matter. I remember coming home from a tour one time and not really remembering anything about it. So i quit. Completely consumed by the world of music it was everything i knew and i leaped off into an unknown. I didnt know what was next but i was aware of the two most important things in my life: to travel and to express my own voice.
Somehow i managed to fake my way through an interview and was hired into a kitchen at the nicest place in charleston. Baptized by fire, i didnt even own a knife. I had never made a sauce. I didnt know what a vegetable was supposed to be. I had no clue what the hell i was doing but i faked it until I truly understood it and was the best cook i could possibly be. Rather than going out after work all night with the greater majority of the food and beverage community, I had homework to do, I went home and started reading for the first time in my life. Traveling vicariously through other authors, I became good enough pretty fast. The hotel paid for my education at a local school and they allowed me to travel to wherever in the world I was willing to buy a plane ticket.
Now, within six years im finally actually traveling and pulling off stàges at some of the best restaurants in the world. Im in way over my head again but I took another leap and I'm loving it. I think playing music in the band helped me overcome this obstacle. No matter how drunk you seem, you still have to get on stage. I am currently the Executive Chef Liaison at the Chef's Garden and The Culinary Vegetable Institute, a test kitchen for traveling chefs like myself and a vegetable farm for the utmost respected restaurants in the world. I am able sing my own songs through the reflection of my spoon and the sound of music in the background.