Why I want to be mentor in this category: because i have a good deal to offer (and to learn) from half a lifetime of experience. because i love what i do and even more i love talking about it with others who feel the same.
What inspires me in this category: because appetizers set off the mood for the meal, the party, the night, the occasion, etc. they are the beginning and the essence of what's to come.
Experience: i like (and have dealt with) all of the categories, but appetizers have always been my favorite, both to make and to eat... who doesn't do that 'i'll just order a couple of apps instead of an entree' from time to time. they're fun, they're completely versatile, and they cover all ranges of cuisines and cultures.
Biggest Lesson Learned: patience. being able to recover on the fly if ingredients are unacceptable or unobtainable. and that apps are fun, and that the enjoyment should be shared by everyone in the end result.
Books, classes, teachers that have helped me: my chef carmen, the executive chef at the first restaurant i worked in, was a wonderful and prolific teacher. he brought me into the kitchen as the assistant pastry chef to work the pantry station; from working (and prepping) the pantry station i received a fantastic foundation for expanding my horizons within the kitchen, both professionally and at home. there are many others who've inspired me but he was my professional shining star.
Education, Awards, Pro Experience: graduated from peter kump's ny school of cooking (now known as the institute of culinary education) with a blue ribbon in pastry & baking, have worked the last 15 years as a pastry chef, line cook, and sous chef.
love life by eating great food. it's one of the simplest pleasures that exist.