“I attended DVC twice, the first time was from 2003 to 2005 for the culinary program and then I came back in 2007 to do my general education. Coming on to the campus for the first time, everything was new to me, and all the instructors and friends I met were really nice and cool. I saw opportunity everywhere. The instructors were amazing; I felt like Chef Paul and Chef Brian were my friends.
Since leaving DVC, I’ve worked at numerous restaurants all over the Bay Area. Oakland is where things really took off for me culinary-wise, not only with cooking, but I had the opportunity to teach a culinary arts class at a high school. I’ve been on the Food Network twice, which was huge. Becoming an executive chef in the corporate dining world of San Francisco was also a milestone for me. I’m currently a private chef and working on a cookbook.
If I had any advice for culinary students, it would be that you have to be in it for the long haul. You have to get the experience to really have confidence in the kitchen. If you don’t plan on being in the kitchen for at least 10 years, don’t do it. You have to be dedicated. It’s cool to cook for athletes, and write cookbooks and all the fun stuff, but before all that stuff had happened for me, or was even a thought, I was getting my ass kicked in a restaurant for years. You’re going to lose jobs, and you’re going to be tired, but even after a long day of working eleven, twelve, thirteen hours, I still feel good. My feet are tired, and I’m tired, but I feel good because I did what I enjoyed doing all day.
I appreciate DVC so much because coming to this school, and not going to a bigger school got me hands on experience with so many things. I know I made the right decision, and I have DVC to thank for that. So thank you DVC.”