Property Manager 2011-2018 Boardwalk
Sous Chef 2011 Symposium Café
Sous Chef 2010-2011 Hotel Blackhawk
GM/Chef 2010 Timeout Bar & Grill
Line Cook/Server 2009-2010 Symposium
NPO Board President/GM 2008-2009 Willow Springs Swim Club
Bartender/Server 2005-2007 Bass Street
Bartender/Server 2003-2005 Applebee's
Line Cook 2002-2003 Governor's
Sous Chef 2001 Biaggi's
GM 2000-2001 Ruby Tuesday
Kitchen Manager/Banquet Manager/Banquet Chef 1999-2000
Chef 1998-1999 Sodexho Marriot
Line Cook 1995-1998 R.I.A.G.C.
Line Cook 1994-1995 Applebee's
I have always known that I was destined for something special. I have no regrets about the path I have chosen or the decisions that I have made along the way. The path that I have traveled thus far is what has made me who I am and I love what that is.
At an early age, my dad instilled in me, the fundamentals of Pride, Honor, and Integrity. Over the years, those fundamentals have evolved into the high standard of ethics that guide me today.
I started working at a young age. I loved earning my own money. It started with mowing lawns in the neighborhood and I had my first job at 13. I was under age and they paid me cash under the table. I worked about 10 hours a week after school and on weekends and made 25 to 30 dollars a week.
I got my first legitimate job when I was 16. I worked as a bag boy at a local grocery store through the last two years of high school.
I went away to school in Denver CO the winter after I graduated. I studied interior design at the Colorado Institute of Art and worked part time as a carpenter. I have always been artistic and loved working with my hands. It was a perfect combination for me.
I started to feel lost in the world after less than a year. I was eighteen and really started to think about what I wanted to be and do. I felt like I was being drawn in multiple directions and I could not choose just one. I went back home and started soul searching.
I got a job as a dishwasher on one of the first riverboat casinos that opened on the Mississippi River. I eventually became a buffet attendant. I worked there for a year and a half until they closed abruptly to relocate operations to a different state.
I would say that I have had an entrepreneurial spirit for as long as I can remember even when I didn't know what it was. When the business left and I was unemployed, I decided that I was going to work for myself. I used my unemployment money to by tools and I started woodworking and handyman work. I even attempted to by a building. I was 21 and just not able to get it to work. At the end of that stage I took my skills and equipment and went to work for a construction company building new homes. I worked through the coldest part of the winter (temps well below zero) and decided outdoor work was not for me. The experience was priceless but that was enough.
I eventually took a job in retail at the mall. I started part time and quickly worked into an assistant manager position. It didn't take long for me to realize that my work ethic and attention to detail made me a valuable asset. I still hadn't decided what I wanted to do but I was learning a lot about life by just living and observing. I worked in retail for a couple of years when I decided that I wanted to try something different.
I still had that entrepreneurial itch and was thinking that I would like to open some sort of a bar/lounge/club. I wanted to create something fun.
I ran into a friend from the riverboat one day and he was working as a cook for Applebee's. He said that they were looking for cooks and I could use him for a reference. I did and I was hired.
I took to it quickly and I progressed rapidly. I really discovered a passion for food. That passion coupled with that entrepreneurial itch, and that drive to create something fun, started me on a path that I have been on since.
A coworker from Applebee's was working a second job at a local golf club and a position opened up so I applied. I was hired on the spot.
After rapidly moving through the training process at Applebee's and getting certified on every station in the kitchen, I felt like I really had a knack for cooking. It had been less than a year and I had advanced faster than any other employee that I worked with and I had no prior experience. So, when I started at the golf club, I really felt like I knew what I was doing. It didn't take long for me to see the difference.
The chef that I worked for was extraordinarily gifted and knowledgeable. The best part was that he was willing to teach everything that he knew. I took advantage of the opportunity to learn and train in a great environment. I stayed for more than three years before I left to take my first chef position.
in the years since, I have had ups and downs, good experiences and bad. The whole motivation, for every position that I took on, in all this time, was to gain knowledge. I have worked in just about every type of concept in the food and beverage industry. The role may have been different from position to position but the objective has always been the same, learn everything about my environment and master it.
I love food! It does not mater how the rest of my life evolves or what paths I decide to traverse, food will always be a huge part of my life.
The 6 1/2 years that I spent in property management allowed me to develop a perspective of food exploration and experimentation that was completely different from what I had developed in the industry. It was the spark that ignited Sage Gourmand. Without it, I don't know if it would have come to be. I am grateful for everything.