“Creating new flavor combinations and using those flavors to build a new dessert or dish for everyone to enjoy. Cakes too, I love to build cakes!”
Never give up! You are stronger than you think, more powerful than you believe, so if you want it, go get it!
Share a bit of background about your background and why you love to bake.
I’m from a small town (Sebring, Fl) and I was always involved in sports. From softball year-round to swimming and diving during season. So, my family didn’t have much down time, we were always away at meets or in school and my parents would be at work. So, with the small amount of down time we had, my brother and I would always turn on cooking shows. I remember watching those shows and going “wow! Cooking looks stressful!” but when I would watch someone bake or a baking show, it seemed so relaxing. After so many years of watching, I decided to give it a try and I baked my sons first birthday cake. That’s when I fell in love with baking. I ended up doing more cakes for fun, then word spread around town and people started to request cakes and that’s how my passion and love turned into a small business and then career. Now I’m in the industry as a pastry Sous Chef.
What is the best bite and sip you’ve tasted this year?
I’m going to say the Spicy Red Curry chicken from a restaurant called Nori in Boca Raton. For best sip, I have to say with the bars being closed for many months, my wife and I have picked up a bit of mixology and mastered some really great classics! Let me just say, we make a killer Old Fashioned.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
When I moved down so South Florida from Central Florida 5 years ago. I left everything I owned and built. I came down with some clothes and the car I drove. I wanted to start over. I wanted to be me and true to who I was. I was also in love! Starting over sounded so scary and tough, ending one thing and starting another in a place I visited just twice in my life. The fear of not knowing what could happen. I was never a risk taker, I just went with the flow, I was afraid of change. But I’m so happy I did because I’m happily married and I’m doing what I love as a profession. I couldn’t have done any of this without her help and support.
Who are your role models or mentors?
My wife, Paula. She is the Executive Chef at The Ritz Carlton, Ft. Lauderdale. As I have said, I couldn’t have done the things without her pushing me. She believed in me and I couldn’t let her down. She has accomplished so much, and I want to do the same.
What does success look like to you?
It’s all about the quality of life, am I right? Having a beautiful healthy family, my loving daughter and son, a happy marriage and getting paid to do the thing I love. That’s what I believe success looks like.
What is your essential home kitchen accessory?
It’s my 600 professional Kitchen-aid. From making cakes, cookies, doughs for breads and even the occasional whipped potato for the kids! It is my go-to and it cuts my time in half and saves my wrists!
What music complements your style?
Lo-Fi Hip Hop. It’s a “mashup” between hip hop beats and elements of jazz. Its free flowing and catchy! Like my style, it changes with my mood. I also like to move with it when I’m cooking.
What’s the food trend that’s going to move us forward to 2021?
My belief is that people have been through so much stress these last few months with the pandemic, that they want comfort. People want familiar foods and flavors that they can easily identify. I am thinking family style pies, fresh cookies and old classics like coffee cakes.
What would readers be surprised to know about you?
Contrary to the lo-fi hip hop that I like to listen to while cooking, I thoroughly enjoy a hard-core rock band concert! In addition to that my favorite time of the year is Halloween. I love to dress up and play the role of whatever the them we chose as a family to be. I also love to kickbox. It’s a great stress reliever and I get my work out in at the same time.
What is the best book you’ve read this year?
Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Ken Forkish. It is a great book for beginners and intermediate levels. I have learned so much about making breads and starters.
This time next year, you will be baking…
In my own shop! Fingers Crossed ? My goal is to open up a small shop and provide the comfort pastries, desserts and cakes that I think everyone loves and needs!