Full disclosure, I’m a “sports guy” through and through. I’m proudly fanatical about the teams I love, incensed by the teams I loathe, and I relish any opportunity to tell you all about it (ask, if you dare.) It was that passion that led me to a career in sports marketing; a job I truly enjoyed waking up for every day – some may go so far as to call it a “dream job”. Alas! This sports fanatic has recently taken a sharp left turn and traded in his cleats for knives and a career in the ever-evolving culinary marketing vertical. How could this be? Who gives up their dream job? I did – and I traded it to chase a dream.
Interestingly, cooking (really, food in general) has always been my second love. I grew up in a home that stressed the importance of family dinners every night; bringing everyone together to share more than a meal – we were sharing our lives with each other. We told stories, complained about work, school and menial nuances of life that drive us all nuts, but at the end of the meal it was always the same. We were happy. Well-fed, to be sure (thanks mom!), but it was far more than that. For a family of 5, it’s not easy to get everyone in the same room at the same time. Something as simple as dinner made that happen, and thankfully there were no cell phones or social media channels to distract us. We relied on actual conversation. The horror!
Food has an inherent unifying quality that I find fascinating. If I want to REALLY connect with you, we need to share a meal (and, perhaps, more than a few drinks); I find it cathartic to eat the foods you love with the people who mean the most to you. As I grew older, my passion for cooking (moreover, bringing people together through food & drink) grew with me, and maybe that’s why I’m here now.
Over the past decade, the culinary world has exploded in the best way possible. As a marketer by trade and a “foodie” by nature, to see chefs enjoy the type of celebrity traditionally reserved for movie stars and athletes was a sight for sore eyes.
The meteoric growth of the culinary industry, especially from a marketing standpoint, is why I’m here. I’ve seen companies activate around food in the last 10 years the way they’ve historically rallied around sports and pop culture. I’ve seen chefs walk into a room and witnessed the jaw-dropping excitement they generate. I’ve seen, first-hand, the breadth of what it truly means to be a culinary celebrity, and it blows me away.
So here I am – a man chasing a dream and I could not be more excited. I truly believe we have an opportunity to make our mark and be the driving force to benefit the next wave of chefs and the foodies of tomorrow. The culinary world has been put on a pedestal and with it, we can change people’s lives. It certainly doesn’t hurt that we can eat well in the process. That’s my dream.