It is hard to say where my culinary journey began. I was born in St. Louis, and began working in restaurants at the age of sixteen. Following a brief stint as a pre-law major in college, I realized that my path lay in the hospitality industry. After an apprenticeship for world renowned chef Larry Forgione at An American Place, I began my formal education at Forest Park Community College in 2003.
Having attended classes for nearly two years, I realized that if I wanted to make it in the industry, I needed a stronger foundation. After traveling through Europe and the United States looking for a school, I decided to attend The Culinary Institute of America in the spring of 2006. I completed my externship while working for the Caneel Bay Resort on the isle of St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
After returning to The Culinary, I withdrew between my fourth and fifth terms to film the fourth season of Hell’s Kitchen. We wrapped the series in late October of 2007, and I returned to The Culinary to complete my degree in February 2008. After graduation, I returned to St. Louis for the airing of Hell’s Kitchen season Four. During this time, I assisted my friend and mentor, Chef Cary McDowell,in the kitchen of the former Revival Restaurant, where I first met the young and ambicious Chef Brian Michael Green.
After the finale of Hell's Kitchen, and a whirlwind publicity tour, I relocated to Los Angeles as the Executive Sous Chef for Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood Hotel. In the fall of 2008, we received our first Michelin star, having only been open a few months. The following year, I accepted a position as an opening Chef de Partie for Thomas Kellar's Bouchon in Beverly Hills.
During this time, I split my efforts between cooking for one of LA's top restaurants, and studying wine through the Court of Master Sommeliers based in London. After passing the Certified Sommelier exam, I decided to focus on the Advanced exam by moving to Napa Valley.
It has now been three years since I joined the team at B Cellars Vineyards & Winery, and we have created a strong brand with incredible supporters. I started managing the small tasting room at the top of the valley in Calistoga, and am excited to se us grow into our new winer home in Oakville, opening the spring.