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Field Sunset
Field Sunset

Hey There!

I often get asked where my passion for the culinary arts and being a Chef come from.

My Roots and Vision


I grew up in a large farming family located in Northern, CA. The 400 acre farm was founded by my Great Grand Parents in the mid 1920's. The farm was located on a lake bed that was drained to make farmland for the countries growing need. It was some of the most fertile farmland in the country due to Tulelake's silty soil. The farm later passed to my grandfather after WWII.  I spent my Summers and school breaks being a part of that amazing experience.  I couldn't get enough of it! As a kid I would shadow my grandfather on those long days riding the equipment to helping my grandmother and great grandmother in the kitchen. Evoking that inner Chef by using everything we grew. As a teenager I enjoyed other facets of farm work, jumping in with my cousins moving our main line irrigation pipes, cleaning the irrigation intake pumps and whatever else I could do. Harvest season was the best time of the year! Excitement and anticipation always pulsed through the farm as we prepared to reap the fruits of our labor. It came full circle there for me. It is a cornerstone to my vision as a Chef. I learned that farming is a way of life and a labor of love. It also resonated with the indigenous side of me as well.  It has similarities to my indigenous people and how the land is a life force. The planet and all its creatures are our greatest educator and barometer.  

Resonating Memories

As a child I couldn't help but notice a tree near our main homestead house. It had only part of it's leaves growing. I asked my grandfather why the tree had only grown some of its leaves. He told me that a crop duster had come to close to the house and some of the chemical spray had carried by the wind it dusted the tree .  I found that very concerning, it still resonates with me today.

On a number of occasions I remember my grandparents and we would head into town in farm truck. We would be stopped by flaggers on the roadway wearing masks. Their job was to stop traffic on the small farm roads so that the crop dusting plane could fly under the power lines. It was amazing to watch. As the plane looped back around we were allowed to pass. I curiously thought, "Why were they wearing masks?"

Over a very short window of time I lost my grandfather, grandmother, two uncles and my aunt to various strains of cancer.  All who had grown up and lived on the farm. This side of my family had been erased by this disease. I always wondered when my time may come, are we genetically cursed? My mother is the last member remaining of those two generations. She too had her bouts with the disease. She took the genetic test to see if she had the markers that could possibly be passed on to our next generation. We were surprised to find out she did not. It led me to always question, "What about the other five members?"  Could it be their environmental conditions?  It leads me to more concerning questions.

Food vision infrastructure and our concerning food system 

 I thank Mel and Enid Zuckerman(Founders), Jerry Cohen(CEO) and Corporate Chef Scott Uehlein of Canyon Ranch Resort for nurturing and investing in my growing passion for food with integrity. Those many years being a part of the CR family were very formative. It fortified my culinary dedication and educated me further how to best combat this broken complex AG system here in the United States. With Mel's passing it only intensifies my drive to continue to carry on our vision in my own way.

My time at Canyon Ranch over those 12yrs was dedicated to preserving and providing our guests with food excellence, food integrity and balance. Fortifying our culinary vision we partnered with key organizations like the EWG(Environmental Working Group), Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Program and Menus of Change to name a few. These organizations fueled my drive to commit to know your farmer know your food campaign. My knowledge guided me through our misguided big AG system. I continue to stay the course to make a constructive shift with every dining service.  

I am driven to keep being a part of the change I want to see with every menu I write. Using local and regional farms and businesses that can be trusted. 

Chef background 

 As a Chef over the years I have used my powerful experience growing up on our family farm and indigenous philosophy as a core catalyst to my culinary vision.  For 22years as an Executive Chef and 32yrs in the Food and Beverage Industry I have successfully operated large brand hotels, luxury resorts, independent restaurants and as a regional chef over multiple locations. I am grateful for my extensive granular understanding of multiple operation styles and systems. I have extensive work with remodels, brand transitions, concept development, R&D and team building, This has given me the expertise in food and beverage industry to develop and custom build someone else's vision to new inspired heights, and I love it!





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