What is your background? Hometown? High school? Family members?: I grew up in rural Deep River, Iowa. I was homeschooled through high school, and graduated in 2006. I am the oldest of six kids (four brothers, one sister). I now live in Iowa City with one of my brothers.
What brought you to Kirkwood and why?: My first job was in the kitchen at a retirement community in Williamsburg; I started out as a server and eventually started cooking. Although I had always enjoyed cooking at home, it surprised me how much I loved cooking for a living. I was lucky enough to have a fantastic boss who encouraged me to pursue a culinary career. He arranged a visit to Kirkwood for me and my brother where we sat in on part of a lab with Chef Dettman and also got to eat at The Class Act restaurant.
In April of this year I started working at Big Grove Brewery in Solon, where most of the back of house staff has gone through or is in the Kirkwood culinary program. The executive chef at Big Grove is also a Kirkwood graduate and was very supportive of me going to culinary school.
I am nearly done with my first semester; working full-time and going to school has been intense but very worth it.
What is your program of study and what interests you about it?: I am in the Culinary Arts program. I love cooking because it involves every sense, because it pushes me mentally and physically, because it is about chasing perfection and doing it fast. I love that there will always be something new to learn, and I love the atmosphere and camaraderie of the kitchen. I also love eating and trying new things!
Most of life my life is working, class, studying, and sleeping! I don’t want it any other way right now.
What do you do for fun?: When I have time, I like to bake, listen to baseball games, run, and read.
Where do you see yourself in five years?: In five years I hope to be cooking in a large city, preferably in the western U.S. Cooking is awesome because there are so many opportunities everywhere, and so many different cuisines to explore.