Thank you so much for taking the time to click on my site. Let me start by stating that food has been shaping my life since birth. My father was the executive chef and ran the kitchen of the Westin Peachtree Plaza, in downtown Atlanta. I can still remember running through the hallways and corridors around the kitchen and I was notorious for sneaking cookies out of pastry. Growing up in Tamsweg (Austria), he apprenticed with a butcher at the age of six and his education continued from there, giving him many opportunities, such as starting his own seasoning company, having his own cooking show (back in the mid 80’s) and working all over the world (Africa, Europe and the US). My mother should be cooking professionally. I could get countless testimonials from friends, family and random people to attest to her skill. I still push her, even today, to pursue what is obviously her passion. They are the reason I do this. It’s because of them that I spend so much time in my kitchen.
On my own, I have worked in the restaurant industry since I was eighteen. I’ve done every front of the house job you can imagine, from serving to managing some of the busiest restaurants in the city. Through my endeavors, I’ve had the pleasure of connecting and working with some of the best culinary minds of Atlanta, and with some, the country. For the past ten years i have strictly worked in fine-dining restaurants. Canoe was the beginning of my love for farm to table food. The education they provide their service staff and the way they incorporate local ingredients into their phenomenal menu is part of the reason I was there for over five years. Through that restaurant, I was exposed to local farmers, cheese-makers and the like, broadening my horizon, love and knowledge of the food industry. I owe the kitchen and staff there quite a bit. They unknowingly helped turn my love for cooking from a spark to a roaring flame that I thought had dwindled after my Father’s untimely passing in 1999. The part of me that had always had a love for cooking, subconsciously, had been subdued. Canoe seriously changed that and I wholeheartedly count myself fortunate to have had that incredible opportunity and experience. I still keep up with a lot of the staff today, most of whom have continued their own journey through the culinary world and some even commanding their own restaurants now.
There is one chef in particular that I have a genuine fondness for and who also helped me realize where I belong, Jean-Louis Sangere. That man has a passion for life that I try hard to channel into my own. His food is incredible and his presentation flawless. I worked with him for over a year and it taught me so much about myself and it was completely by surprise. Sometimes people come into your life on a whim and end up changing so much. I found myself bouncing ideas off of him, as far as recipes or flavor combinations, and I would pick his brain occasionally on various culinary topics. Jean-Louis is truly a wonderful human being, an inspiring chef and amazing father. The love he has is expressed through his food and mannerisms and is translated across the board in his life. He smiles more than any chef I know and if that isn’t endearing, I don’t know what is. when I initially started this journey, I approached him about staging in his restaurant. It wasn’t able to happen at that time, but that’s how much I respect him. He runs his kitchen without yelling, throwing pans (not all chefs do that, but I’ve seen a lot in my life and you’d be amazed at some of the stuff that I’ve been privy to) or even raising his voice. He has that silent sternness that only a father can have and I can appreciate that in him. Once again, Jean-Louis is wonderful and I owe him and his lovely family a lot for their constant support of my endeavors and kindness.
So what am I doing from here, you’re probably asking yourselves. I want to inspire someone’s love for cooking. I don’t care what your dietary preferences are, whether you eat meat or not, food transcends all of these things. Anything can be adjusted, altered or taken out to make your dish truly unforgettable. I want to help the people and organizations I’ve worked with continue to educate the general public on sustainability and sourcing local ingredients. Ultimately, my goal is to inspire someone the way I have been inspired over these years. I just want to make good food for the people I love and for those I have yet to meet. Follow my journey here. Watch as I create food from my heart to your table. I’ll also be posting my favorite spots, restaurants and dives as I eat my way through the city I call home.
Welcome to Atlanta, my home. Now grab your fork, knife and plate and dig in.