My life began on a dairy farm in Wisconsin with my parent’s vision of a wholesome family and farm. Daily chores were a task for us all; as we overcame, and then succumb to inevitability of single family farm life in the U.S. and this was only the beginning.
Always working in restaurants, culinary school was to be expected and I continued my education in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. With that came an internship in Indiana which resulted in a degree from Purdue University in Restaurant Management.
With both degrees and continued success in my industry, I was looking to excel. I found a restaurant in Lake Geneva that had just what I needed. Challenge, surrounded by great farms with a bounty of ingredients, just waiting to be utilized. It was a four year stint as Executive Chef of the Grand View Restaurant. I enjoyed every minute finding my passion for local food.
During this time, I met my wonderful wife Tiffinni. We moved to Woodstock, IL. After working and developing my passion for food, I found myself as Executive Chef and General Manager of the Woodstock Country Club. After successfully wooing the clientele for three years, Loyola University had my ear.
Loyola Chicago purchased a 100-acre property in Northern, Illinois. Coming on board meant much more than just catering to students in a cafeteria style atmosphere. The goal was to produce a sustainable property which meant I needed a garden to supply our needs. Together, we focused on the importance of food, what it means and most importantly where it comes from. We designed and laid the ground work for a five-acre organic garden that supplies the goods for the facility through seasonal produce and preservation. With the build out of a processing kitchen, we were able to be a model of sustainability in our community for all to see. In addition to the gardens, our kitchen acts as a demonstrational kitchen and culinary learning center. The bounty at my fingertips to create incredible experiences.
Some things are never enough. As a Chef, we continue to reach out and create our own experiences with food; and bread is an experience.
Growing up in an Italian family; bread is a staple. I remember as a kid waiting for my uncle to get to Christmas Eve dinner because he brought the best bread from Chicago. I continued through the years to develop my recipes, techniques and found that you still need the perfect oven, so the story continues.
I researched ovens for a few years and found Allan Scott. Alan Scott was an oven builder and bread artisan. He designed ovens. His passion had my attention. So I built an oven. No, I didn’t have one built, I taught myself how to be a mason. I knew that was the only way to develop a direct relationship with my oven as this is as important as the dough. Wholesome Grains Bread CSA began and since August 1st 2012, the oven has been firing, baking better bread than I ever expected.
Leaving the oven and bread behind, I had the opportunity of a lifetime to be a contestant on Season 12 Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay. After a grueling competition, I found myself on top. What an experience! With that success, I accepted a position as Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Pub and Grill at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.
While continuing to work in Las Vegas I felt compelled to get back to the essence of food and focus my culinary experience towards healthy recipes driven by the “right” ingredients. I was fortunate to partner with Take My Health Back, a company devoted to changing people’s lives through food, which allowed me to spread my reach throughout the Las Vegas community. Knowing my recipes are helping people achieve their health goals has been a very rewarding experience – the success stories are amazing! But equally impactful are the stories of failure. Many people lacked the time to shop and the time to cook. Or they simply didn’t feel skilled enough in the kitchen. To help these individual’s BLT was created. I couldn’t be more proud being your personal chef!