“One day at the age of seven, I was playing at my best friend’s house when his father called us over to the cellar. To my amazement, he was pressing grapes to make homemade wine. And from the rafters of the ceiling hung hundreds of curing sausages and pepperonis and aged salamis. Never had I seen such a thing or even known something like that existed. Boiled dinners with potatoes and cabbage were staples in our home.
“My friend’s father pulled down one of the pepperonis and sliced us off a piece, and I was hooked. From that moment on, I knew that I wanted to be a chef.
“I started my culinary career at the age of 11 washing dishes at a small Italian restaurant in Boston. I went on to work at some of the top restaurants in Boston and the surrounding areas, including Cape Cod and Hampton Beach. I eventually landed as the executive sous chef at the famous Ken’s Steak House while attending Newbury Culinary School in Brookline, Mass.
“Before accepting the senior executive chef position at Radford University, I was the chef de cuisine at the award-winning Virginia Tech’s West End Market. My culinary achievements include multiple medals in American Culinary Federation competitions, National Association of College & University Food Services awards and recipe contests.
“My greatest accomplishments are my three wonderful children — Andrew, Cassidy and Dylan — and my loving wife, Emily.”