What inspired you to become a chef? The novel “Kitchen Confidential” by Anthony Bourdain. After finishing college, I was working as a line cook, unsure of what career I wanted to pursue. I picked up “Kitchen Confidential” just because I was curious and finished it in two days. The experiences and people Bourdain talked about inspired me to continue my culinary arts career.
What’s the best part of your job? The staff at the Great Outdoors Restaurant, hands down. We are truly a family of talented industry workers that cares for each other with the same passion as we care for our guests.
What is your specialty cuisine? The unique menu at the Great Outdoors Restaurant allows me to dip into all cuisines, but I really love cooking Florida fare. The vast diversity (both in its culture and local ingredients) of this state opens up amazing possibilities for food that truly cannot be found anywhere else.
What sets you apart from other chefs? I like to bring in ingredients that our customers might not be used to and expand their knowledge of food. I love talking to customers after they have dined with us about their experience with my creations.
What can you bring to the Taste of Gainesville competition? I am an up-and-coming chef in the area who works at an amazing restaurant set outside of the main Gainesville culinary scene. My goal is to win, obviously, but also to win by bringing a fresh, new outlook on Florida food to the public eye.
What would people be surprised to know about you? Percussion was my first passion. My last game playing with the Florida drum line was the 2006 National Championship…what a way to go out!