Background / Experience: At the age of 15, I started working at various Houston restaurants throughout my high school years. I started working on the line at the age of 18 at the Petroleum Club in Fort Worth. I worked my way up to Sous Chef under David Hester who was the Executive Sous. After that I moved to Denton to work for two Jamaicans at the Banana Tree (Ital Food). Then moved to The Greenhouse, which had a split menu of vegetarian and carnivore. I ran the vegetarian side. I moved back to Houston in 2003 where I started work and culinary school. (Previously, I had been a poli sci major.) I went to work for Jason Kerr at Zula. Left there to work for Monica Pope and Jonathan Jones at Beaver’s. In January 2009, I opened my own place, Holister Grill. But was forced to leave due to being diagnosed with Cancer. I spent May 2009 through July 2010 going through various surgeries and chemotherapy. I was cleared to work January 2011, and started at Signature Bistro. I was offered the Executive Chef position in late February. I brought on Mike Blanchard – who I’ve known for the better part of a decade – as my Sous Chef. I could not do what I do if it weren’t for him.
Specialty: Seafood / New American.
Signature Dish: Crispy skin snapper with tequila infused South Western roasted corn salsa over spinach risotto.
Have you prepared a meal for anyone famous? Mike from Phish used to eat my vegi burritos when I toured with them. I also used to cook for various Houston Oilers. I worked with The Big Wu and would cook for them when they were in Texas.
Please share one special cooking tip or technique with our readers: Learn five dishes and learn them well. (Breakfast doesn’t count.) Take those dishes and try to vary them each time you make them. Eventually, you will come up with something you can call your own.