My mother and grandmother kept a lot of pantry items in the lower cabinets of their kitchens and I can remember being entertained for hours pulling out the cans and playing grocery store (I’m still easily entertained). They had to devise another plan to keep me entertained as my curiosity grew of what was in those cans. Pie dough and cut-out cookies seemed to be the perfect diversion. My love for cooking blossomed watching The French Chef with Julia Child and Graham Kerr as The Galloping Gourmet. I would raid my mother’s spice cabinet and experiment trying to reinterpret the recipes I saw on T.V. Luckily, my mother was not a devoted cook and as soon as I could see into a pot sitting on the stove, the kitchen was mine!
After college and wielding a degree in business, I entered the corporate world. Haunted by the words of teachers past, “Jeff would be a great student if he would just sit down and shut up”, I realized corporate life wasn’t for me. So in 1993 I bailed on it all and opened Fresh Start Market, the country’s first low-fat restaurant and grocery store, in Dallas, TX. Fresh Start featured food that was high quality, low fat, and had big flavor. It was an immediate success and attracted international media attention, including a segment on the fledgling TV Food Network.
In 2003, I started On The Range, a personalized home chef service in Los Angeles. After working a couple stints as an assistant food stylist for one of the Food Network’s highest-rated personalities, I was asked to contribute several recipes for some upcoming episodes. Soon I found myself as her Culinary Director and oversaw all recipe writing, cookbook development, and food styling for 20+ cookbooks. During that time I created Food Crew and have become one of the “go-to people” for original food and beverage recipes.