Chef Charles grew up in a world fully immersed in cooking culture. His dad was a chef and food service director and he grew up watching him cook and listening to his stories around the dinner table. The idea to become a chef was embedded in him. He attended the Culinary Institute of America, his dad's alma matter, where he says he acted like a sponge, soaking in information everywhere he went.
Charles spent his early years growing up in east Long Island then moves to Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he lived for high school and his early twenties. His background is polish so he grew up with the traditional foods like pierogis and stuffed cabbage. The was a transition from New York, were the attitude is “go! Go! Go!”, to Alabama where it’s “not! Not! Not!”, as Charles put it. His mother was from the south so he was exposed first hand to the different culture and comfort foods.
“Our goal is to make people fall in love with us and change preconceived notions of what quality food is. […we want to] show people somethings they’ve never seen before, it’s enjoyable,” he said of College Chefs. “It’s a group of people so passionate about what they do with food and customer service.” He goes on to say that this passion comes naturally to the employees; they feed off of the company culture. He describes that chefs aren’t always used to direct feedback and interaction with those that they’re serving. This feedback, he says, is so enriching, they love to make students happy, it lights the fuse of a chef’s passion.
The open-endedness of bread leaves it to be one his favorite foods to cook. It can become anything, pizzas, flatbread, it’s an open canvas. One of his favorite meals is when he makes homemade pizzas with his seven year old son and six year old daughter. They have step stools in the kitchen so they can help create the masterpiece. Charles tries to instill in his kids that it’s important to know where the ingredients in food comes from, that they just don’t appear in the supermarket.
His go-to foods to cook in a house are a Kansas City BBQ or, instead of garlic bread, he makes garlic knots, the kids “loose their mind over them.”
Charles continues to be a great reflection of College Chefs culture and if you run into Charles, give him a hard time for being a die-hard Yankee’s fan, I hear he doesn’t get enough of it around the office.
Scroll through the pictures below to get a glimpse at the ridiculously good food Charles has created with College Chefs.
Written by College Chefs' Danielle Gadus
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to stay in the loop with College Chefs news!