TCT: What advice would you give to someone who was trying to break into your business?
The best advice I could give to anyone trying to start a career in the culinary industry is to stage and gain perspective! Take some time and visit the restaurants that interest you the most, really get a feel for what it means to be a cook. It happens far too often that people have a romanticized idea of what this industry entails, and once they get into it, they realize it’s not at all what they expected — long strenuous hours, repetitive work, and for those starting out, the pay can be difficult to manage. I would definitely suggest getting a feel for the industry before investing in culinary school.
TCT: What’s next?
For me, the answer to ‘what’s next’ lies in the next generation and their development. In my position at Uchi, I have the opportunity to help guide a growing number of cooks and chefs and really affect change in their development and career paths. But my journey with each Uchi is far from over. We really are on the ground level of where we would like to go, and so far, the ride has been pretty amazing. I have had the honor and privilege of working with amazing people on every level that have enormous amounts of talent, and I am very excited to see what the future holds!
TCT: What started your passion for your profession?
My family started my passion for this profession! Growing up, our family was really close, and looking back on it, it seems like we got together almost every weekend, whether it was for birthdays, holidays, or just to watch a game. When we would get together, everyone would cook, especially the men in my family. I loved watching them and hearing them talk about food and tease each other about whose was better! The feelings associated with those times were always so good and positive, and I became passionate about cooking because I connected it with those moments — I wanted to be able to share those feelings that affected and shaped me so much with others.
TCT: How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
Pretty much first thing.
TCT: What is your dream project?
Honestly, I love movies, always have. I would love to be able to combine my passion for cooking with my love for movies and open up a theater with a tasting menu and really unique and delicious snacks! Really bring back the feel of 1920’s grandeur.
TCT: Apple or android?
TCT: Picasso or Matisse?
TCT: Coffee or tea?
TCT: Fame or money?
TCT: Love or friendship?
TCT: Train or plane?