I spend a better part of waking hours thinking about food, thinking about how to make my food better.
Most people in this industry would give the PC answer of "for the guest".
Sorry, that's just not me. I do it for me. Don't get me wrong, it makes me very happy even proud like a daddy when I go in the dining room and a guest tells me they enjoyed their meal. But at the end of the day I'm my harshest critic.
And don't misunderstand, I want everyone to like it-my food. But....
There have been only two people in my entire life that I actually cared what they thought of my food.
My father is number one and always will be.
For a long time I don't really think he understood what I was going for. But then when I graduated from the Greenbrier and he was able to come down and stay at the hotel, come in the kitchen and see me work, and see my graduation table he got it. I didn't want to be the fry cook at the local restaurant, I wanted more and still do.
The second person is chef Peter Timmons of the Greenbrier Hotel.
After my first year at the hotel Chef Timmons came on board as sous chef of the main kitchen. A position completely beneath him. But I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity and good fortune to work with him for two years. He, more then any other chef, has shaped how I think about working in the kitchen, how I think about food, and how I teach others.
On graduation night, after being up for about 3 days straight we had our graduation dinner. A grand event with my comrades, with wine and food cooked by Chef Timmons himself. After a few glasses of wine, great food, and no sleep I couldn't tell you if this actually happened but I remember it happening so it must have--- Chef Timmons said "you know Fred your a good cook". After 2 years of working with him that is the biggest compliment he ever gave me and a bigger compliment then anyone probably ever will when comes to my job.
That's all I'll ever need. The smile and understanding of my dad and a 7 word sentence from my teacher.
8 years ago