Pastry Chef/Sous Chef
Hometown: Jacobstown, New Jersey
How did you become employed at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch?
I have known Chef Isaac Cantu since 2010 when we worked together and were part of the Chef’s Cooperative. He invited me out to see the property and I couldn’t pass up the chance to work with such a great group of people.
What past work history prepared you for The Clubs?
I graduated from Culinary School in 2010 and started out in bakeries with HEB and Whole Foods while finishing my Bachelor’s at the University of Texas in Austin.
What makes your colleagues an asset to The Clubs?
I am so blessed to work with an amazing and accomplished Executive Chef who is a wonderful teacher, mentor and also a dear friend. Our kitchen staff is a quirky group of individuals that all have a hand in making our operation run on a daily basis. I truly consider this a second home and family.
What has been your most rewarding professional experience?
Being able to have a career that I truly love is a reward in itself. To come to work every day with an excitement for what is in store, being continuously challenged to do new and creative dishes, while helping run and maintain an operation is a blessing. Finding the right kitchen is something I will never take for granted.
What has been your greatest professional challenge?
Having to adapt my work life with having a family has taught me to maximize my work hours in order to leave at a reasonable time to still see my son and be able to put him to bed. Finding a balance in my workaholic tendencies has been difficult and not always successful, but still something I work on to this day.
What do you like most about working at Cordillera Ranch?
The company, the culture, the ownership, the culinary team, the leadership. Cordillera is truly a unique package that I appreciate because not many other places can compete with the scenery, the beauty and the supportive work environment.
What are your hobbies and interests?
Family and food are my priorities. I make the most out of the time with my 3 year old son Nicholas. I love to cook at home with him, making sure he knows about good food, flavors and variety. Since most of our time is spent playing, I guess my current interests are playdough, trucks, trains and Legos.
Favorite quote or motto?
Shared to our kitchen by Chef Isaac, from Anna Bolz (Pastry Chef at Per Se), “If you don’t like to work for the sake of working and aren’t capable of being selfless, cooking won’t make you happy… in order to be successful in a kitchen, you must be willing to start at the bottom of the heap and fight your way up in the most humble and respectful way possible. It’s long hours (every day, not just sometimes), hard work (always, not just sometimes), and a lot of sweat and tears but the gratification you receive for caring for others in this unique way is unparalleled.”
Most meaningful personal experience?
My most life changing personal experience is having my son Nicholas. Having the chance to raise another human being and seeing them grow, develop, learn and experience new things is hands down one of the most beautiful and rewarding experiences. To see the good and innocence and intelligence in such a little person gives a glimmer of hope that great things can continue to happen in this immense and crazy world we are a part of.