For me, my passion for cooking started from a very young age. I was always curious about what was going on in the kitchen no matter what was being made or who was making it. Every restaurant that we went to growing up I wanted to sit as close to the kitchen as I possibly could so I could watch what was being made and how it was all coming together. If I wasn't in the kitchen, I was watching the food network and coming up with ideas of how when I was older I could have my own cooking show. I was in love with the process from start to finish.
My passion for Pizza also started at a young age. I grew up going to a local pizza restaurant that gave dough balls to kids so we had something to do other than drive our parents crazy! I could hardly wait to get seated so I could start making what I thought was the best pizza that could be made. Stretching the pizza dough out on the table using every ingredient that was in arm's reach gave me such joy. I would then pass off my creation to the chefs who would cook it for me in a wood fire pizza oven. I was happiest when I was covered in flour and playing with pizza dough for hours.
In later years, my parents opened a restaurant right on the banks of the Arkansas River in Salida Colorado, where I continued to build up my passion for cooking and my interest in the service industry as a whole. I worked there for years gaining a better understanding of the in’s and out’s and the do’s and the don'ts of the industry. I was reaching for more and was ready to move on to a new adventure. I never lost touch with my love and zeal surrounding Pizza and I wanted to find a way that we could integrate another restaurant above the restaurant that we already had. I met AudreyJane Kelly, owner and founder of Audrey Jane’s Pizza Garage out of Boulder, CO, who quickly became my mentor. Audrey helped me solidify my passion for pizza and helped guide me to understand how to make dough, how to understand flavor profiles, and how to successfully navigate and run a commercial kitchen in an efficient and effective way. I took my passion for pizza and ran with it.
I went to San Francisco where I attended Tony Gemignani International School of Pizza and became a certified Pizzaiolo. I later went to Woodfire University to gain my certificate for woodfire pizza. Pizza is something that is always changing and evolving and I am excited to continue to be a part of it.
With the help of some amazing people I opened Pizza Rio, a New York style pizza restaurant overlooking the Arkansas river in Salida, Colorado. I am looking forward to making organic naturally leavened New York style pizza for years to come.