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2015 Cooking Up A Dream

Today I find myself sitting in a shuttered restaurant with the stench of stale restaurant all around me. Yet, I am happy, I am filled with visions and dreams of what this space can become. For dreams when nurtured properly can take on many forms, and lead you to some pretty amazing places. In fact I am often surprised at how far my food and beverage journey has unfolded. After all out of high school I was working in a cubicle with a team designing semiconductors, So how did I get here? How is it I find myself in the middle of opening my 3rd and 4th food and beverage adventure?

After discovering (thankfully) at a young age of 19 that an office cubicle life was absolutely not for me, I ventured into the world of food and beverage getting my first serving job at Firebirds in Tucson, AZ. This was a worthwhile detour for a couple of years before I found myself getting fired for my all too often occurring tardiness.

After a brief hiatus from the restaurant industry I found myself living in Phoenix, AZ working retail (which is a worse hell than that of the cubicle). Luckily for me a car accident would lead me to leaving retail life. Being in a new city and needing a quick cash infusion I applied to work for Fox Restaurant Concepts. During my time with Fox I discovered the art and craft of food, cocktails, wine, and most importantly hospitality. I loved every aspect of Sam Fox’s restaurants, I wanted to spend as much time as possible working, learning, and growing with such a wonderful company. It was not uncommon that I would work opening lunch shifts, to closing dinner shifts before heading out on the town with co-workers for a night filled with plenty of drinking. I always wanted to head out for a beverage after my shifts, not only was it a nice cap to a busy day, but in doing so I discovered hundreds of bars and restaurants that still drive my culinary visions to this day.

The Fox Restaurants experience eventually came to an end in Tucson, AZ and I once again took a hiatus from the restaurant life and spent my days growing a one acre pumpkin patch with back breaking labor, and some help of my close friends. It was during this period of my life when I met a girl who would become my wife. Knowing that becoming a farmer was a pipe dream with very little to no pay I once again entered the food and beverage world at The Ritz-Carlton Resort in Dove Mountain.

Working for a world class company such as The Ritz-Carlton allows you to flourish in the art of hospitality and my time spent there was really a refinement period that would alter my perception and understanding of this industry in the most profound ways. Everyday was a new learning experience in creating guest for life through hospitality, in an environment  where your efforts, ideas, and ambitions were nurtured to become something extraordinary. In 2014 someone from leadership figured the resort could be a part of the food truck craze. A truck was purchased, rehabilitated, and wrapped in The Ritz-Carlton name before feeding banquet guest and even hitting the street to feed the citizens of Tucson. Awesome truck, cool amenity, but nothing had clicked in my brain yet.

Let’s bounce back to my time spent working retail and let me introduce you to a guy I worked with that would become like a brother to me. Jared.

One day Jared found himself getting the same itch I had, not wanting to work retail and seeking freedom from the corporate cage. Jared proceeded to plot his escape in the form of a food truck that he launched in Denver Colorado. After a few runs Jared decided the F&B life was also not for him. I was informed of Jared’s decision to sell his truck while catching up over a phone call right before I left my house for work that day.

While driving up the mountain into work that day, it dawned on me that this could be my golden opportunity to dip my toe into the restauranteur life. The dream started spinning and the realization that this could be a real thing started plaguing my mind 24/7. Just Imagine a real life kitchen on wheels, a mobile, agile, key to freedom, wind in my fucking hair while driving it. Food Truck…..

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