I can do better than this, says a then 15 year old Michael Rothenback who started his adventure with food as a 15 year old high school kid washing dishes for a local sandwich shop in New Jersey.
One day Michael had this brilliant idea of wanting to become one of the “guys” and actually make the food instead of scraping the leftovers off of people's plates. He eventually put it out there to the owner that he was interested in transitioning into one of the line cooks--but of course, being that Michael was young and under-experienced the owner did not give much thought to it until fate changed his luck.
A Now, classically trained chef and graduate from The Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY) Chef Michael Rothenback recalls the day when his luck looked up when a line cook called-in sick. Chef Michael was given the opportunity by the owner to fill his shift and to put him to the test to see what he was made-out-of.
Needless to say Chef Michael Rothenback proved his worthiness and also had a self realization that he truly enjoyed working in the kitchen.
Once his luck changed that day he gained even more confidence and told himself that he could do better than this and took the leap to step his game up a notch by leaving the sandwich shop and joining a new Italian restaurant that opened right next door to where he first started his culinary path.
It’s been a long time since then, now with more than 30 years of culinary experience under his belt, Chef Michael Rothenback has had the pleasure of working at several different causal and fine dining establishments including operating and running his own restaurants in New Jersey and West Virginia.
Currently, Chef Michael Rothenback serves as the Head Chef for the brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at West Virginia University.