Training / History : I trained at the school of hard knocks. My career began as a dish washer roughly 24 years ago at mama Louisa's on Campbell. There I started coming in on my own time to learn simple yet imperative professional kitchen skills, culture and preparation. From then on I have focused my energy on honing my skills to be the best that I could possibly be in several restaurants in both Tucson and Prescott Arizona. later in my career I worked under chef Erik Savin of (Nonies, Wild Flower, Casino Del Sol) where I eventually became chef at Nonies after his departure. I also worked under corporate chef Michael C. brown (Metro Restaurants, Barrel Republic) as both a sous chef and executive chef of several locations. I was executive chef at the Cup Cafe from 2007-2011 creating several menus and menu items including the now famous and multi award winning " cast iron baked eggs". Next and most importantly, my two partners and I created the Parish gastropub in 2011 winning several awards in several publications. The experience of owning and running my own restaurant has taught me more in the last 5 years than the previous 19 combined and I am both honored and humbled every day by this most wonderful and unique experience.
Specialties : Cooking from the heart is my #1 specialty! I have always been drawn to slow comfort food and most recently I have been focused on southern food. I love creating unique rubs, brines and cures. I have a passion for sauces and love figuring out how to use bugs, plants and animals (or off cuts) that a lot of people seem to avoid, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. However it is always fun to try because I try to live and cook remembering that there is no win or lose, just win or learn!
Why I became a chef : I started cooking out of necessity because my mom was notorious for being a terrible cook! The good thing was we were poor and grew up on ranches and farms and learned about nature and food from the source and ate all the cuts, grains and vegetables because we didn't waste anything. Whether or not she was great at it or not, my mom was cooking farm to table, heritage and nose to tail well before they became the trends they are today. Growing up this way inadvertently made me incredibly curious about food and forced me to learn how to create flavors I liked (I was making sugar bacon and dipping it in melted chocolate by age 8), it was the perfect combination to start me on my ever evolving path towards a culinary career.
Why I think I can win 2017 Iron Chef Tucson : I believe I have a chance at winning Iron chef Tucson because my beautiful wife and daughter say I can, and according to them, they are never wrong! Luckily, I also have an amazing staff and together with them we make a great team! We never hold back our creativeness. We are never scared of trying new things. We always crank everything up to 11! We cook as loud as we rock whether its hog heads and pig tails, meal worms and grass hoppers or cow tongues and milkweed pods we always do our best to make our food unique, delicious and beautiful for everyone to fall in love with! ROCK ON TUCSON!