I was born, raised, and still live in Newton, Kansas. It’s a large-ish town/small-ish city about 30min north of Wichita. Not much excitement or a very big food scene. Crazy, right? Well, it’s home, and our grocery stores carry more than you might think. I grew up helping my parents in the kitchen, and we often had more exotic foods than the average Kansan. I discovered my love of cooking while in college, studying trumpet performance. As music became more stressful (stage fright and all) and less of a focus, baking and cooking became an outlet. I watched a lot of cooking shows and read a lot of cooking books, including the textbook for the Culinary Institute of America. After college I looked into culinary schools and jobs, but a year later was opening the doors of my own small restaurant. That lasted a little over two years. I then briefly worked at the Ahwahnee Dining Room in Yosemite National Park. After that I worked at another restaurant in an even smaller town in Kansas, then I worked retail at a Dillard’s department store for four years. I took a job as manager at a frozen yogurt shop back in Newton, but because of their money woes decided to accept my current job as a cook at a retirement community.