"My love of BBQ and the art of cooking great ribs and pulled pork brought me into the world of professional cooking. As a young man growing up in the BBQ capital of the world,outside Memphis, Tennessee, I was fascinated with the smoking process and how to make BBQ. I began my career as an amateur chef by joining a competitive cooking team with a group of friends. We had some great success winning regional, national, and world championship titles.While working a day job, I pursued my passion of BBQ and began teaching people about cooking.
"Cooking was my passion, and I turned it into a career. After moving to Chicago, I started teaching BBQ classes to friends in my backyard. The classes grew as word spread, and soon I was teaching at the Chopping Block. I continued to teach and began wanting to know all aspects of cooking so I could become a more rounded chef. This led me to put my career on hold and enroll in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu.
"I had a great mentor in Chef Jim McGuinness, who made a similar career change many years before me. It was an incredible experience being exposed to the professional side of the kitchen. I returned to the United States and began working as the corporate chef for Sub Zero/Wolf. This position combines my love of cooking with my desire to share my passion through teaching. I do cooking shows, demonstrations, classes, and private events from 10 to 2,000 people, always in front of live audiences.
"Throughout my career, I have been able to work events with great chefs from around Chicago and the world. I am still a BBQ man at heart, but now I combine that with the high-end cuisine of the modern kitchen." Inspirations:
"I have many influences on my cooking style but what inspires me is the happiness I can impart to my guests. Whether it is serving them an incredible meal or demystifying a recipe so they can make it at home, nothing is more gratifying than giving back to the audience."What's next:
"My goal is to change people's perceptions and combine my styles. I am currently working on elevating aspects of true southern BBQ culture with high-end dining. I love cooking outdoors over an open flame. The trick is to elevate this with classical techniques and modern culinary style to change the perception of the outdoor grill. Hopefully I will develop a cookbook - if I can slow down long to write down what I am doing." Back to Ambassadors