The only thing that Chef Aaron Twitty every really wanted to do was cook. He grew up in the kitchen cooking with his Grandmother where his Indian heritage had a huge impact. Born and raised in the southern tip of West Virginia, Aaron was surrounded by a unique mountain style of food. It’s not quite southern, not quite northern. You can regularly find a good “Pittsburg style fried chicken, mean jambalaya, and pretty good gumbo,” he explained. When he was sixteen he took culinary classes and never looked back. He got an instate scholarship to go to Fairmont State in West Virginia. “No matter where you go,” he says, “college is what you make it.” Living on campus gave him the opportunity to stay after hours in the classroom kitchens.
He describes College Chefs as a company built by chefs for chefs. You (as a chef) get to be creative, run your own kitchen, and then have the freedom to go home and eat dinner with your family and wake up with them on Christmas morning. Aaron has two young daughters, so the ability to come home from the job, doing what he loves, and still have energy while his kids are awake is amazing. The company isn’t out to make a quick a quick dollar, the chefs are there to serve an honest product every day. It’s apparent that the owner and employees genuinely care. As the company grows in size, it’s stretching into its new responsibility while avoiding the weird corporate persona, as Aaron described.
Aaron was working at a brewery when he saw an ad online for a chef job Monday-Friday, 9-5 and he laughed out loud. All chefs know strict, long hours, so the creative freedom and flexibility you get with this company was a wonderful surprise. As fate would have it, he started working for the company almost immediately. He looked at the menus and saw “fresh” and “homemade” and was forced to figure out how to make the delicious menu items work in such a short amount of time with little planning. He’s great at baking fresh breads and he loves cooking Asian Food, stir-fry, really anything he can learn from or tweak or hasn’t made before.
Outside of the kitchen Aaron is spending time with his family. He’s gotten really into Kayaking after the company supervising trip. His fiancés family has islands in Maine where he can go for a serene kayak trip to see the sun rise.
When asked about his favorite food to eat, his response would be more expected coming from a stereotypical college student than from a professional chef: ramen and pizza. "Not even the badass ramen, just quick and easy food at home," he said laughing. For the college students he serves in the houses however, packaged ramen is far from what they’ll get. Fresh pasta with fresh bread or rolls to go with it is a consistent hit with Aaron.
“There’s no better feeling in the world than […] finishing a service with no hiccups and everything runs smooth and you know everyone was happy. […There’s] instant gratification in knowing you’re happy and excited to eat, smell, taste the food I make with my bare hands.”
Check out Aaron's beautiful creations below:
Teriyaki short ribs
Fried chicken corn on the cob and wilted greens
Braised pork shoulder
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Written by College Chefs’ Danielle Gadus