Current job: Owner and executive chef at Say Ciao! Creative Catering/Columbia River Tap Room and Eatery. I have been in the culinary field in some capacity for over 40 years, and a classically trained chef and business owner for over 30 years, and love what I do with passion.
Proudest professional moment: Succeeding in a very tough business for as many years as I’ve been doing it. Always being a mentor and teacher of the culinary arts along the way, inspiring my guests and employees to love food, cuisine and amazing ingredients.
First job: Making pizza at the age of 13. The beginning of a long career.
Fun fact: I worked as a contract archaeologist for quite a few years, mostly in the southern states of the U.S. and paired it with 14 years in the Rockies as a waiter, chef and ski bum. By the time I was 18, I had traveled in 36 countries; my father is a retired cultural anthropologist and mother a retired sociologist, hence a life filled with travel.
Favorite spot on a Saturday night: At a friend’s dining room table enjoying dinner and wine after spending a good amount of time playing in the kitchen.
Favorite movie: Maybe only the most memorable, but none the less always considered my favorites: Seven Samurai, the original Swiss Family Robinson and The Count of Monte Cristo. However, reading good books has always, and always will be my favorite entertainment medium.
Music of choice: Blues from the late J.J. Cale, some Motown and Celtic rock; let’s just say, eclectic…
Favorite place to eat: Say Ciao! of course, or my food cart, located at Fortside Brewing; Say Ciao! Chow Cart … I do like to dine out on occasion, mostly to enjoy the company of friends and be out and about. Love ethnic cuisines, nice fine wines and great craft beers and/or a cocktail or two are always part of dining out.
Motto/Inspirational quote: “I am the artist of my life; I draw the line I follow.” I wrote this as a poem in Kashmir in Northern India in 1979 and always felt it was my mantra for how I live my life.