I worked in the food industry for five years. It was a love and hate relationship, but one that was core to who I am today. I’ll never forget many of the friendships and moments I had working my way through dishwasher jobs, manager roles, and the in-between. Similarly, grueling twelve hour days, failed dishes, and disappointed bosses shaped my passion for a tough work ethic and my drive to succeed. My love for cooking persists, and although I’m not a professional chef, I enjoy adding my own twists and flair to the daily recipes I cook.

Below are a few recipes. Most are combinations of recipes I’ve cooked from online blogs, books, and friends; along with some modification on my end. They won’t change the culinary world or anything, but they are some of my favorites. This isn’t a cookbook, so I won’t give perfect amounts or cook times. The goal is to inspire creativity, which I think is crucial to developing your own tastes.


Warm Mix:

  • caramelize a small white onion, near the end of cooking, add a few cloves minced garlic and a small minced shallot, salt and pepper as required

Cold Mix:

  • quarter yellow and red cherry tomatoes, mix with some minced sundried tomatoes, cut up basil leaves, and a touch of olive oil
  • combine warm and cold mixes to form a final product


  • combine a cup or so of balsamic vinegar, four tablespoons of honey, and two tablespoons of brown sugar
  • let the mix come to a bubble, and then simmer for 10-15 minutes until reduced to a glaze


  • serve on a piece of thick toasted bread, a good choice is rosemary ciabatta or a classic baguette
  • lay down a thin layer of mozzarella, a generous spoon of the mix, and a slight drizzle of the balsamic glaze

Roasted Beet Salad


  • Slice beets into small chunks, rub with olive oil and salt, bake on 350 for 20(ish) minutes. Broil them if you want them more crispy.
  • Start with a base of arugula, add crumbled goat cheese, halved grape tomatoes, toasted almonds, and the roasted beets
  • Add vinaigrette or dressing of choice immediately before serving


  • Diced shallot and a little garlic sauteed in olive oil
  • Honey, fresh stone ground mustard or a little Dijon mustard
  • Red wine vinegar, salt, pepper
  • Whisk in olive oil until happy with taste and consistency

Pastrami Sandwich


  • Caramelize a red onion, touch of sugar in the pan, salt of course
  • Pastrami in a hot cast iron, hit it with some paprika and pepper
  • Toss in a few slices of colby jack into the pastrami mix, 4-5 banana peppers