Updated: Jan 4
Thank you for joining The Wooden Spoon community. I am excited to have you join a foodie community like none other.
When I was a young child, I was always fascinated by cooking. I attribute my early obsession with two people. My mother had me cooking when I was about two years old. Nothing complicated, of course; simple dishes such as enchiladas or cookies. Then there was Emeril Lagasse. One of the first cooks to have a presence on TV, he would often shout BAM! Just to keep his camera crew from falling asleep. But of course, I had to follow his steps and make my own cooking videos when I was a child.
From there, I kept crafting my cooking. I went from my humble beginnings of throwing spices in water and calling it soup to more refined dishes while taking inspiration from Gavin Kaysen, Andrew Zimmern, and Escoffier.
As soon as I could get a job, I applied to a senior living home to be a server. I met so many wonderful people and met numerous chefs that created an even bigger fascination with cooking. There is a stigma about senior living homes having horrible bland food; this is not entirely true. Numerous chefs often work two jobs, one at a senior living home and one at a restaurant. I've met line cooks, baking and pastry directors from restaurants in Minneapolis, skilled graduates from le cordon bleu, and managers from some of the largest hotels in the Twin Cities.
From there, I got a second job at a nearby upscale family-style restaurant. I started as a host, then moved into the kitchen as a line cook. The work was demanding but rewarding. I learned to be a fast cook, I learned the banter and jargon of a professional kitchen, and, most importantly, how to dance in the kitchen Ie. How to move my feet, move from station to station, and keep track of numerous orders being made simultaneously. Every second was exciting: seeing your line filled with orders and hearing the ticket printer drone on while the other chefs shouted order numbers. I knew I wanted to be in the culinary world in some capacity.
Soon after, I took up a third job at a small bakery in Chaska. There I learned the art of bread baking. I had an apprenticeship with an excellent bread baker or, as the owner remarked, a monster. Everything was down to a single gram, the yeast, the flour, and each bread loaf. The baker I trained under knew every measurement in his memory. He could tell how the bake would go just by the weather outside and the room's temperature. Would the bread rise fast? Would the bread need slightly more water or a different time to rise? He knew it all; he was truly a master in his field, a monster who knew every detail of bread baking.
I then took up a job at a local woodfire pizza restaurant, where I met many amazing people. My managers and co-workers are among the kindest and funniest people I've met. We get the job done, but there is seldom a dull moment. I will never forget the people I work with and the memories I have made at this job. My only regret is not applying sooner.
Then the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic hit. The restaurant industry was blown to pieces. I saw an opportunity and began work on something that has been a long-time dream; to start a private chef business. I wanted a company where you could choose from a menu, have a chef shop for you, and cook everything in your home. It was safer than going to a restaurant. I had the website complete and ready to go along with research into a business's legality.
I realized something crucial: a massive hole in the food industry. There were food blogs, but a vast majority of them were focused on recipes. I wanted to create a food community that had both my recipes and those of the community. A community that talked with other like-minded foodies to be better cooks troubleshoot recipes, and shares their own stories and favorite foodie destinations. And a place where I could share restaurant insider secrets and foodie knowledge that is often unknown and surprising.
And so, I hope to fill this void. I Created The Wooden Spoon Blog and Foodie Community. I hope to create a private chef business and plan to cook for you and my friends around my community. I'll even offer deals through my blog, so be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when we post.
I want to thank you again for joining me on my road through my culinary journey. I can't wait to see this community grow and be a part of your culinary journey.
"The Flying Chef"