Mise en Place: The Begginings

Updated: Apr 16, 2021

My Background

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 is camera crew from falling asleep. But of course, I had to follow in 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.



Andrew Zimmern and Gavin Kaysen


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 in 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 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, to see your line filed with orders and hear the ticket printer drone on while the other chefs shout 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 a wonderful bread baker, or as the owner remarked, a monster. Everything was down to a single gram, the yeast, the flour, each individual bread loaf. The baker I trained under knew every measurement in his memory. He could tell just by the weather outside and the room's temperature how the bake would go. Would the bread rise fast? Would the bread need slightly more water or a different amount of time to rise? He knew it all; he is truly a master in his field, a monster who knew every detail in bread baking.


Sour Dough bread art

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 in doing so. My only regret is not applying sooner. I will never forget the people I work with and the memories I have made at this job.


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 and 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 all the legality of a business.


company logo of the wooden spoon blog



Our Community

I realized something crucial, there was 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 not only my recipes but those of the community. A community that talked with other like-minded foodies to be better cooks, troubleshoot recipes and share their own stories and favorite foodie destinations. And a place where I could share with you, 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 in the future 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 own culinary journey.


Cheers,

Chef Olson

"The Flying Chef"



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