Director of Culinary and Nutrition Services/Executive Chef
Ohio Living Cape May
Proudest career accomplishment in the last year:
Professionally, it might be when we had a Labor Day event for our residents, and one longtime resident stopped me and made sure that I knew it was the best Labor Day event she had ever had in her 15 years here and that I should be proud of the impact I was making. I definitely was after that!
In my personal life, I am very proud to be part of a professional barbecue competition team. Last year, we did well enough to be invited to both the World Series of Barbecue in Kansas City, Mo., and The Jack in Lynchburg, Tenn. These two competitions are regarded as the world’s premiere barbecue competitions and are both invitation-only. To be invited to these two contests in the same year, competing against teams from Ireland, Belgium, France, Italy and New Zealand (to name just a few countries) and the best from around the U.S. was quite an honor.
What you excel at:
Cooking techniques are now more globally influenced, from Asia, Central and South America, Africa and the Middle East, as well as more traditional European flavors and techniques. As a younger person, your worldview is a bit different, and mine helps me create varied and exciting options for our residents.
Best career advice you’ve been given:
Have outside interests. Being engaged in something outside of work will prepare you to be a well-rounded leader and individual. In this industry, it is all too easy to become work-obsessed, which can easily lead to burnout and other negative issues. Hobbies and interests apart from the day-to-day and being with people outside of the workplace help keep you grounded.
An important lesson learned:
Early in my career, I walked out on an employer because I was unhappy. I was young and thought I was really something. At an interview shortly after that, I was told that I would not be getting the position though I was qualified for it because the person interviewing was aware of my reputation for leaving without notice. This is a close-knit business, what I call an “I know a guy” business. Your reputation, good or bad, follows you.