How did you get into cooking?

I have been cooking since I was eight years old, always asking to help my parents. As I grew I would continue to cook for friends and family. One of my first jobs was in a restaurant, and I was hooked.

What inspired you to pursue cooking and become an executive chef?

I had a passion for food and cooking. I knew I wanted to become a chef, not even knowing what that meant. I think watching cooking shows with my mom, with the encouragement of my parents to pursue my passion and dreams, made me dive into the industry.

As I started out, learning and challenging myself drove me to the top. With my ability to become skillful very quickly, learning very fast with the mentality of doing whatever it takes, made it a quick to rise to the top for me.

How important is timing in the kitchen?

Timing is nothing without communication. It’s our words and our ability to execute on the promised times that makes a smooth service. Most of the time when the chefs tell me how long it will take for a table, I add three minutes on that time, which is usually always right!

You are quite young to be an executive chef of a fine dining restaurant. What steps took you to where you are today?

I did what everyone else didn’t want to do. I was never scared of any type of hard work. I studied all the time and I continuously develop myself with books, podcasts, and courses.

I connect with people better than me so I am always learning. My network is my net worth!

I would dream and visualize myself being a chef, so I knew exactly where I wanted to go.

I also ensure we hire people that are better than me at what they do to ensure we are a well-balanced, strong team. Humbling myself and checking my ego at the door has enabled me to become a stronger leader.

When you’re not in the kitchen, where can we find you?

You can find me with my best friend, Allyson. I could also be having fun with my two daughters. I enjoy exercising to ensure I am able to have high energy and be healthy and fit.

When you’re not in your chef jacket, how would you describe your personal style?

I dress for success, always ready.

Any advice for someone looking to become an executive chef like you?

You need to enjoy extremely hard work and long hours. You must have patience and enjoy leading people. You need to be creative and comfortable with being uncomfortable.

It will take a lot of patience to get to where you want to go and you must trust your process.