"Skateboarding raised me, the kitchen saved me".
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about skateboarding or cooking food. I’m a skateboarder at heart and a Chef by trade. I never knew I wanted to be a Chef, but I always knew I wanted to skateboard.
There isn’t much else in the world that I ever knew besides going to the skate park and hanging with all the homies. Day in and day out I had the urge to put a piece of wood under my feet and learn new tricks. The friends and culture that came with it go hand in hand with my personality. Aggressive outcast lifestyle that a lot of people don’t want to be a part of, but felt like a normal life to me. It just so happens that the kitchen is the same breeding ground of individuals and I happened to fall into that trade at an age of 21.
From the time I was 12 I skateboarded everyday from sunrise to sunset. Smoking weed, drinking cheap beer and rushing every posted spot that stated no skating. This was the life and it ingrained that type of living in my soul. For the next 12 years thats all I did, was skate and party, working dead end jobs and never pursuing a future. Nothing else mattered then doing that everyday. I started washing dishes at the age of 21, not realizing I just walked into my future, but knowing I could work, skate and party everyday. Itching to finish mopping the floors and go have a night sesh with boys, smoke a spliff and get a couple 40’s and see where the night takes us. The skate life is a great life and isn’t meant for everybody, but it builds character and passion. You find yourself in uncomfortable situations from trying to land a new trick down an eight stair to having to fight for your next line because other people assume they are better then you.
When you walk onto the concrete jungle of a skatepark your judged immediately by how you hold yourself. From the way you push, hold your board and the shoes on your feet. The same way a new line cook is judged the first night they work the line. You prove yourself, develop bonds with people and show that you have etiquette. Once this has been done you will develop into a tight knit crew.
I have met some of the best people from skateboarding and have some of the best friends still today I met on the skatepark 16 years ago. I believe most skateboarders are true people even if they don’t know it. There is heart, soul and passion running in their veins. You have to have that to be a true skateboarder. The years I spent growing up with these people have made me who I am today, from an everyday human being to an everyday Chef running multiple food outlets. Skateboarding raised me as its own and gave me many brothers that I would have never met if I had never put that wooden steed under my feet.
Skateboarding breeds a lifestyle and there can be issues. I for instance gradually started to slow down on the board and speed up on the bottle, whiskey that is. Before I knew it I wasn’t skating anymore, but I was partying a lot. This became very dark without me knowing. By this point in my life I was a Sous Chef and I loved what I did, but I loved to get fucked up more. I was drinking a handle of Kentucky Bourbon everyday for many years. This was effecting me more then I even knew. I just stopped skating and became dormit at my career. I floated along like a boat without a sail. I was emotionless, soulless and scared. I drank to cover up those issues which only made it worse. I wasn’t who I used to be and that really hit hard on December twenty-first, 2016.
Nineteen months ago was when I decided to get sober. This meant giving up a lot, or what I thought was a lot. Drinking became my world and I had to get the fuck out. If I didn’t I wasn’t going to become what I wanted to be, a great fucking Chef and husband. So I checked myself into detox and came out swinging. I buried my head in every aspect of cooking and baking I could. Worked as many hours as I could and kept my thoughts focused on the tasked at hand, being a sober Chef.
Without the kitchen it would have been really hard to get sober, not saying I couldn’t do it, but the kitchen helped tremendously. You are able to get lost in all the chaos the kitchen brings to the table and luckily I was able to do whatever dishes I wanted so that kept me creative and focused. Being a sober Chef is not easy, but I couldn’t run the operation I’m running if I wasn’t. Being sober makes life easier, not just work, stress, consistency, motivation, it all becomes easier. But deep inside you're the same person, just with a new outlook on life and your judgements.
Theres not a day that goes by I don’t want I to be sitting down at sunset on my skateboard after a days session with all the homies passing around a spliff and having no worries, but where we are going to go hang for the night. Life creeps up on you fast, and responsibilities become very demanding. That being said I don’t come around all the time because I don’t want to, but because being a Chef is demanding and losing focus is not an option.
I love every single one of my skateboard brothers that I’ve met throughout the years and hope to keep seeing them forever. I would always ponder if everyone was just mad that my presence had depleted and I was a mirror image from the past, but the other night was clarity at Shea’s when I ran into so many of you and everyone was so hyped on my commitment to sobriety and food.
This website is built from a skateboarder/chef mindset and is meant for everyone that has my passion for both food and skateboarding. Whether you're grilling dogs at the park or plating foie gras during a dinner rush, this website will and is going to give you recipes and thoughts from someone with both cultures running in his blood. There is 7 plies in my heart, but putting the board down and focusing on slanging plates and running restaurants is my life. I’ll never lose the mentality of skateboarding and that will only make me a better Chef. To skateboarding I hold the honors that without it I would never be the Chef or person I am today or going to be in the future. Thank you.