My passion for cooking was realized at a young age. I would spend holidays and summers with my dad and he would share his love of food with me. From there I would cook for friends and for youth group events. I continued my interest in cooking through my teenage years and opened a coffee house with a couple of friends. This made me realize I needed to learn, a lot more! So, I applied and was chosen to attend the apprenticeship program at Walt Disney World. This three-year program led me to work in many facets of food service. I still keep in touch with my two mentors from Disney, as their leadership and knowledge helped mold me into the cook I am today.
From Disney, I moved back to Alabama to be the Sous chef at a Marriott. I then went to open the Renaissance Ross Bridge resort as their banquet chef. That experience led me to be asked to move to their sister property in Florence, AL as their banquet chef. Florence is where I really started to establish myself as a cook and chef. I held three positions at Marriott shoals; Banquet chef, chef de cuisine of 360 Grill, and Executive chef. While at the 360 grille I was invited to cook at the James Beard House. I cooked for a sold-out dinner, using almost all Alabama ingredients.
My next step was to help open Odette in downtown Florence. This has been an experience that has helped me to continue to push myself as a cook. It has been amazing to watch my team grow and see the food progress, menu to menu. I am excited to see how far we can take our restaurant.