Sous Chef/Production Supervisor
Baxter Regional Medical Center
Mountain Home, Ark.
What you excel at:
Adaptability. I figured out pretty early in my career that a healthy amount of proactive flexibility gives you an edge in the culinary field. It’s the skill I use the most.
Biggest challenge you’ve overcome:
Adjusting from a hardcore, commercial, live-fire kitchen background to a very clean-cut, clinical environment. It was a culture shock to say the least. But the hospital has never asked me to change who I am, only to build upon myself. I’m the same gnarly dude forged on hot lines, only now I trim my beard and have a cleaner vocabulary.
Most valued trait in a workplace:
I personally value loyalty. As a chef, you have to invest your life into what you do, or the passion isn’t there. In some settings, that can get abused, and it leads to a high turnaround in the industry. BRMC has matched, if not exceeded, the loyalty and hard work I give. Whether it’s floating the bill for my continuing education or letting me essentially mold my own career, Baxter is a rare gem in foodservice.
What you’d change about the industry:
I wish line cooks and seasoned culinarians would feel more comfortable speaking up about mental illness and addictions. This industry has a tendency to ignore blatant warning signs for the sake of the bottom dollar. The hospital I work for has really great insurance and even offers free counseling for anyone on staff. I think more programs like that would really prolong the stability of the industry.