1) Where did you grow up?
West Pennsylvania (Bedford, PA). I thought that was country until I arrived at Conestoga Ranch.
2) When did you know you wanted to become a chef?
I have been cooking since I was 4 years old. My dad had had a strong influence on getting me to cook at such a young age. When I turned twenty-two that was an identifying moment. I was working for Executive Chef Wes Fix at the historic Carriage House Restaurant (Bedford, PA). Wes had brought me under his wing and groomed me to be on the path to be an executive chef.
3) What is your favorite food memory?
First and only time foraging for Morel mushrooms in PA. I had hiked 8 miles in to find the mushrooms. The only way that I actually found one was by stepping on one. Then it was another 8 miles to get out of the woods. It took 16 miles for me to trample (not forage) one Morel mushroom
4) How do you get your inspiration?
Cooking and food, specifically the aromas, are very captivating for me. The smells of wood smoke, chocolate, red wine are intoxicating. I have a very strong sense of smell. I can even smell the subtle nuances of sea salt.
5) Funniest kitchen incident?
It is always fun to see a staff member turn a mixer on high full of flour.
6) What are your favorite foods to cook?
Anything cooked outside: on the grill, on top, or in the coals, of a fire. Dutch oven cooking and mountain pies are particular favorites.
7) What made you want to move out to Bear Lake, UT and join the Conestoga Ranch team at the Campfire Grill Restaurant?
I have always wanted to “Go West” and see the National Parks. I love water. Conestoga Ranch is on beautiful Bear Lake and is in close proximity to some incredible parks like Arches in Moab and Yellowstone up near Jackson, WY. It is also fun to work at a brand new resort. Another reason is now I have an official reason to wear cowboy boots.
8) What are your favorite local ingredients and how will you incorporate them into your new menus at the Campfire Grill Restaurant?
Anything local. We are using local Slide Ridge honeycomb in our Garden City Salad and with our tea service. We also have incredible Wagyu beef from the local Bear Lake Beef Company that we will be using for our burgers.
9) What do you do for fun?
Off-roading, Jeeping and Fishing
10) What do you love most about your job?
Being an artist and able to create. Being around people especially seeing smiling faces. The incredible aromas that are produced when cooking with fresh ingredients.
11) Tell us your secret to a great Pig Roast?
I can’t tell you that. That’s why it’s a secret.