My Story

   Hey y’all. This is Chef Tom. I’ve been cooking in restaurants since 1997. I have had my fingers in all kinds of different aspects of the restaurant industry, but most of it has been fine dining. My humble beginnings were at a Wendy’s while I was in high school. I moved up to an Applebee’s when I became 18 and worked there for a couple years. During my young adult life I worked at a sports bar, a mexican restaurant, a steak house, a fine dining restaurant, and an upscale pizza/pasta restaurant.

   It was after this time I decided I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. I decided to move from Sioux Falls South Dakota to Portland Oregon in 2004 and attend culinary school. I recieved my Associates of Culinary Arts from Western Culinary Institute in 2006. While I was in culinary school I had the privilege of working across the street at Jake’s Catering at the Governor Hotel. It was an excellent place to hone my skills while learning about those skills during school. After culinary school I stayed on at Jake’s Catering but also landed a job at Higgins with  James Beard awarded Chef Greg Higgins.
   In 2009 I recieved an offer from my old friend who was currently the Chef de Cuisine at Tim Love’s spot The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro. He wanted me to come down and be his Sous Chef. I couldn’t refuse the offer to work with a Chef that had won Iron Chef, so I, of course, said yes and moved down to Fort Worth Texas. I spent two years as Sous Chef learning the in’s and out’s of Texas cuisine. Then an opportunity came for me to become Chef de Cuisine for Tim Love, and of course I said yes to that as well. I was Chef de Cuisine of the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro for 7 years! A lot happened during that time. I got married to my wonderful wife Beth, had two children and bought a house. I also leveled up my cooking experience.
   Working as a head chef at a busy restaurant can take it’s toll on you after so long, the long hours and late nights without seeing much of your family ever. I decided when my youngest child was born that I needed to find a new path. I didn’t want to be on my death bed and regret that I didn’t spend as much time with the ones that I loved. I have been drifting a bit in the years since leaving the Lonesome Dove, trying to find that perfect spot that will allow me to live the life that I have dreamed of. I have worked as a Sous Chef in corporate dining, an Executive Chef at a steak house, a Chef Manager at a senior living home and a Kitchen Manager for a small catering company. I am currently a Sous Chef at a corporate dining account very close to were I live.  Best of all I get to have dinner with my family each night and put my kids to bed.  I try to spend each day making sure they know I love them and sharing the joy of cooking with them.