My kitchen days began early. As a little boy, I can remember waking up to the smell of tomato sauce simmering on the stove. I had always loved the smells and sounds of the kitchen, the excitement and anticipation it always gave. And I still do.
After graduating from the Culinary Arts program at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, PA, I went on to the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Through college I made ends meet with part-time work in local butcher shops and small-scale catering gigs and in 2001, I began working at the famed Lark Creek Inn in Larkspur, CA as part of my degree at the CIA. At Lark Creek Inn, I had the pleasure and opportunity to work under a few of the Farm-to-Table pioneers, the James Beard Award Winning Chefs, Owner Bradley Ogden and Executive Chef Jeremy Sewall. It was here where my passion for Farm-to-Table dining was born, where my respect for ingredient integrity was developed and where my palate became educated. I had a Chioggia Beet (not just a beet, but a Chioggia Beet) for the first time and loved it, I ate a celery stalk out of the ground at Full Belly Farm in Guinda, California and loved it, and I tasted a Canary Melon that rocked my world!
Shortly after graduating from the CIA, I followed Chef Jeremy to Boston to open Great Bay Restaurant. While construction finished, I had the opportunity to work at Radius, an award-winning restaurant that accepted nothing less than perfection. At Radius, I was able to refine my culinary technique under James Beard Award Winning Chef Michael Schlow. Once Great Bay opened, it didn’t take long for people to take notice. We claimed numerous awards and the restaurant was listed as one of Esquire Magazine’s Best New Restaurants.
After a few years in Boston, I moved back to my hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and became the Executive Chef of the four-star Bed & Breakfast, Glasbern Inn. This was a 100-acre working farm … the real deal. Here, I was able to perfect my technique, share my knowledge and grow into my own interpretations of food and style. I also extended my interest in farming and sustainable living by using the wonderful products raised on property. In addition to these products, I sought out a farmstead cheese maker to add to the menu. This was Hendricks Farms & Dairy, producer of award-winning raw milk cheeses. During my visits to the farm, I built a strong business relationship with the owner, Trent Hendricks. We were visionaries of a similar interest and shortly after my tenure at Glasbern Inn, I decided to increase my knowledge and experience by entering the world of raw milk cheese farms. I became the Executive Chef and Culinary Educator at Hendricks Farms and developed a variety of product options and educational opportunities for the farm and the surrounding community. I was in love with the cheese and still am.
During my time at Hendricks, I began to travel more, taste more and increase my knowledge in food and wine pairing. I joined the American Wine Society as a professional member and attended many tastings and conferences. I began to teach more in a variety of institutions including the Wine Spectator Award Winning Tria School of Fermentation in Philadelphia. I made contacts, developed a network of food and wine enthusiasts and eventually landed a position as Culinary Producer and Food Stylist for Follow Productions, working in affiliation with the Food Network. As this was all happening I met my life partner, Jill, who shares the same vision and passions that I do.
Together, Jill and I began the development and business plan for sauced with a vision that is simple and inspiring. We believe that product integrity and a personal approach to service are the foundations for success. And with an operation as small as sauced, we can be true advocates of farm-to-table dining in a friendly and inviting atmosphere. Our unique culinary experiences are designed to be approachable, yet sophisticated, so that we can inspire all of our clients, from novice to the most educated palates.