Hello, my name is John. Served 21 years in the US Navy as a chef working on aircraft carriers, destroyers, squadrons,combat construction battalions, and shore bases. I also managed logistical movements and bought consumable food products for ships, overseas commands, and other military service units. Before the Navy I worked in hotel banquets and restaurants through high school and college, where I worked my way through the ranks in various cook positions learning all I could. I presently work in quality assurance for a major world class food product corporation. I have worked in the food business in some form my entire life and would not want it any other way. Cooking is my passion and I enjoy every chance I get to cook and make a memorable meal for others.
My favorite things to cook
Prime rib, Italian meatballs from scratch, biscuits and gravy, Italian spaghetti sauce, whole turkeys (the traditional ways), breads, soups, Irish stew, roast chickens, BBQ chicken, grilled fish (wahoo is my favorite), beef chili, lasagna, ravioli, creating new salads, cucumber salad with purple onions and tomatoes dressed in a balsamic vinegar, breakfast frittatas, waffles, Filipino pancit. I love working with new things, creating new recipes and also working to improve recipes keeping in line with healthier methods and choices.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas holidays, where it was always a good ham and turkey. 4th of July, my Dad would always cook flounder he caught from the ocean. Sunday mornings, my Dad loved making waffles and on occasion pork roll with eggs.(East coast thing on the Jersey shore). Sunday afternoons, my Mom would slow cook the best Italian tomato sauce for spaghetti and meatballs that evening. My late grandmother's sweet potato pie, she taught me how to make it when I was 12. The military was my family for 21 years and I always enjoyed working during the holidays making the sailors who could not go home or had duty a special holiday meal. We had it all prime rib roasts, hams, turkeys, etc. I enjoyed making a difference for them.
My cooking triumphs
The many successful overseas diplomatic receptions I planned and carried out with various ethnic foods to cater to the specific countries I visited. Not only was I and my team making a difference for the diplomats, we also took pride in representing the US and making a positive impression. Being able to cook in challenging scenarios throughout my military career and providing high expectations of service that mattered to the service members. Being asked to create a couple cooking videos for the local news paper for their internet site.
My cooking tragedies
Losing a whole run of bread from scratch on an aircraft carrier because it over proofed due to the heat in the Indian Ocean environment. A whole run means enough to feed a crew of 5000. Making a minestrone soup and having the macaroni noodles puff up too much from being overcooked. Forgetting I had a rib roast in a BBQ one time and the rib roast caught fire. Opps!!!! :)