So this is my first obligatory blog posting. I am venturing on this journey with a ‘blurry vision’ of what I want. I have this grand idea that I can grow this into a much bigger platform where I can share my ideas, recipes, menus, resources, and education with my viewers. I want to share my passion for food. This is my first official blog – so please bear with me as I learn as I go! This will be an evolving, living thing. I hope you will stay with me for the long road ahead!
A little background on me: Born in Upstate New York (Harris, NY; Sullivan County) in 1979. During my high school years, I began to learn how to cook at home from my father, Mark. Since he worked two jobs, I began to develop basic cooking skills in order to provide myself with nourishment. I believe this is where my passion for food and cooking started to develop. I graduated from high school (Minisink Valley; Slate Hill, NY) in 1997. Shortly after graduation, I enlisted in the Marines. My father offered some words of wisdom: Pick a job that #1: You’ll love to do and #2: One that you can use in the civilian world.
I chose the become a Food Service Specialist in the Marines. I went to the Quartermaster School in Fort Lee, Virginia. I graduated in the top 5% of my class. I spent my first duty station in Okinawa, Japan. I was stationed there for twelve months. Next, I was stationed in San Diego at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Once I completed my four-year enlistment with the Marines, I declined to re-enlist. After my Honorable Discharge, I entered the “civilian sector” of food service on a full time basis. Note: while stationed at MCRD, I worked part time in the kitchen of Hooters in the Gaslamp (Dec 1999-May 2000) as well as Slurp!: The Soup Experience (July 2001-Feb 2002) in Mission Valley.
Here is a list of the employers I have worked for since I left the Marines:
Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort (Valley Center, CA): Cook I/Saucier
Sodexho Management, Inc (MCRD/Camp Pendleton): MCFMIS clerk, storeroom clerk, Chief Cook, Production Manager, General Manager
Dreamakers Custom Catering (Temecula, CA): Operations Manager, General Manager
Sbarro, Inc (Escondido, CA): Co-Manager
Ponte Winery (Temecula, CA): Prep/Line Cook
Bushfire Grill (Temecula, CA): Chef
TGIFriday’s (Temecula, CA): Line Cook, Steward
Zagara Italian Eatery (Temecula, CA): Lead Line Cook, Sous Chef, Executive Chef
I also enlisted in the California Army National Guard for six years (2006-2012). I kept my job as a cook. For the first three years, I provided field mess services for my battalion during our drill weekends and summer Annual Training out at Fort Irwin (about thirty minutes outside of Barstow, California). My fourth year in the Guard, I was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During my deployment, I was tasked as a Driver for convoy security operations. Upon my return from Iraq, I was assigned ordered to work at Range Control on Camp Roberts National Guard Base (just north of Paso Robles, California) for four months. Subsequently, after this temporary duty was completed, I was assigned orders to San Diego in support of the Southwest Border Mission with the Joint Task Force Sierra in National City, California. I remained on those active duty orders for the remainder of my enlistment. I received my Honorable Discharge from the National Guard in Jan 2012.