I was raised in Southern California where I made my first foray into the restaurant industry at the age of 19, working in a local pizza parlor. My aptitude for making great pizzas, combined with a longstanding love for food, helped put me on my way to a fruitful culinary career.
After graduation from Cypress College Culinary, as one of America’s top 250 culinary students, I found my first restaurant job at Wolfgang Puck Café in Orange, CA. I then worked my way up from prep cook to line cook, and learned how to balance flavors and enjoy creating artful dishes. My next step was at Robert Mondavi’s Golden Vine Winery, where I reconnected with his love for Italian food. Working under the tutelage of Chef Reiner Schwarts, I was able to work with homemade Italian recipes.
For the next five years, I worked with Chef Reynaldo Bianco at Spectrum Catering in Newport Beach, CA, and eventually became sous chef at the Spectrum in Redondo Beach, CA. It was there I learned the true art of sauce making, and catering large events for the stars.
On my culinary journey, I left the beach and headed to the desert, where I joined the team at the La Quinta Resort and Club. Originally hired as a line cook by Chef Leanne Kamekona, I was quickly named restaurant supervisor, and eventually executive club chef at the Citrus Country Club. For the next three years, I created special chef table dinners for my members. I moved to Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa as the banquet sous chef, where I worked alongside the desert’s renowned chefs at the Pendleton Foundation Chef’s Auction, one of the resort’s most memorable banquets.
In 2007, I took over the helm at Indian Wells Country Club. I was one of 18 ClubCorp chefs to attend CIA at Graystone in Napa Valley, where I finished second in the annual Iron Chef Competition.
During my rare downtime, I love to travel, attend old car shows and catch an occasional round of golf.