CFO (Chief Food Officer)
“If you love what you do, it’s like you never have to go to work.” — Unknown
Well, that quote is me to a T. Since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I always loved everything about food. I love eating it, playing with it and – okay, sometimes sharing it. So after a 20+ year career as a caterer (which ultimately means I got to make people happy by serving up and creating tasty memories), I now have the honor of running a business that is named Mr. Food. So after a week of being involved in every aspect of food, including tasting it (yes, it’s part of the job!), I still love going home and sharing food with family and friends. It’s who I am and what makes me happy. I can’t think of a better way to make someone smile. I guess that’s why I’m known as the “Everyday Caterer.”
Favorite Mr. Food recipe: It’s like asking a parent which kid is their favorite!
How often do I cook? 4 times per week
Who am I cooking for? My wife Patty, who also runs our kitchen, and my friends and my family.
How long have I been cooking? I started cooking at the age of 6 (I’m assuming mud pies don’t count), started working for a caterer at the age of 11, and from then on I was bitten by the bug. After graduating culinary school with a dual major of Professional Chef and Restaurant Management, I started my own catering business before joining the Mr. Food Brand in 1994.
My biggest challenge in the kitchen: Not cooking way too much food. I came from a world where cooking for hundreds was an everyday occurrence. It’s hard to change that mentality… Really hard, but I’m trying.
What profession best describes me in the kitchen? A scientist… I love to experiment. Mixing this with that and seeing how it comes out. For the most part… I am successful since I have been cooking for most of my life. And when it doesn’t, I just chalk it up to a learning experience.
The kitchen appliance I couldn’t live without: It’s really not an appliance, but I would be lost in the kitchen without a good basic set of knives. I believe it is the most valuable tool… Hands-down.
The one food I can’t stand: I pretty much haven’t met a food I didn’t like, but if I had to name one, it would be grape leaves. I just don’t like them.
The food that instantly takes me back to childhood is: My grandmother’s stuffed cabbage or my mom’s Swiss Steak. Yum!
If I were a spice, I would be: All-purpose seasoning, since I wear so many hats and it’s the combo of all of them that makes me who I am.
If I could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, it would be: My grandfather, Harry. I never did have the opportunity to know him but from all the stories I have heard… That would be a dream come true.
I love to go out for: The joy of being with family and friends – the food is truly secondary.
Sweet tooth, or salt-craver? What’s my weakness: That’s a tough one ‘cause I love a great savory meal and no matter how full I am I always have to have something sweet to finish it off. That is my true weakness.
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