Director of Sourcing & Sustainability
I grew up in Greensburg, PA and was always interested in food; to appreciating how food is grown, the challenges of producing it, preparing it and what compliments it. Food has truly been my passion. Remember those Sundays when grandma cooked and after dinner the men went into the living room, plopped down on the couch and watched football? Well, not me - I was in the kitchen with grandma, either doing dishes or preparing meals from the leftovers. I remember making gnocchi from scratch and using the back of a cheese grater to get the grooves in them. We made everything from scratch and I continue to do the same today. My grandma was my inspiration to cooking and has always been a huge part of who I am today.
Fourteen years ago, I met my wife Michelle, and she (her father) was what got me interested in agricultural. He (Ray Kenia) was a dairy farmer in Newton Ransom (a small town outside of Scranton, PA). The first night I spent on the Kenia farm, I was awakened at 5 AM with a light rap on the door, only to find Michelle's father standing in the dark hallway requesting my presence in the barn. My first hour consisted on shoveling heavy loads of cow poop - once you got used to the smell, it wasn't that bad, but I almost vomited from the initial smell. Now I'm no longer a FIT (Farmer in Training); I have advanced to just the son in law that enjoys getting his hands dirty.
Over the course of the past 8 years with Eat'n Park Hospitality Group, I've learned quite a bit about farms, farmers and the politics involved in agricultural today. I now serve on the board of directors for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agricultural (PASA) and I'm active in numerous agricultural (PASA - www.pasafarming.org) related topics and events throughout the state of Pennsylvania. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and hope that my passion comes out in my writings about my adventures in sourcing food for this active community driven restaurant.