Among the ranks of culinary professionals, there are those that hold vast amounts of pride in their skills; there are those that live every waking moment for the food they prepare and the customers they serve; there are even some who wandered into the profession almost by accident and never left. Then there is Chef Kevin Hyotte.
It doesn’t take long, in speaking with Kevin, to realize he’s a different sort than the usual fare in the culinary industry. His warm smile and gentle demeanor contradict the usual images of the over-inflated egoist, the brash and confrontational cook, and the detached wanderer largely operating out of habit or lack of any better options. It’s true, Kevin’s professional aura doesn’t blaze like his culinary counterparts – it’s a steady pulse that finds its roots all the way back to a small suburb of Boston in a family-owned restaurant called “Wallace’s.”
Along with his ten siblings (yes, ten), Kevin started working in the restaurant which specialized in hamburgers, clams, and ice cream around the age of six. Although he started by taking out trash and picking up the yard, he quickly evolved to cooking from-scratch food. His brothers and sisters thereafter dropped the trade, but Kevin never stopped cooking. Eventually he sought his formal training at a culinary institute and was soon after drafted in the military in which he (surprise, surprise) cooked for his fellow patriots.
He came to work for College Chefs after a chance meeting, courtesy of a mutual friend, with company owner Kevin Gadus. He asked Gadus to sponsor him in a cooking event in which he cooked food for our armed services, a proposition which Gadus readily accepted.
Kevin enjoys cooking French and classical food, but his real passion is cooking game as he’s an avid sportsman. He especially loves hunting/cooking duck, deer, and alligator. Even though his cooking tastes are somewhat refined, his favorite foods to eat are steak and potatoes as he is a self-described “Yankee.” His food taste is also the most varied I’ve encountered thus far as he has yet to find a food he doesn’t like. Kevin’s passion for sportsmanship has borne a separate favorite meal, however – his favorite hunting meal: a Delmonico steak, baked potato, Caesar salad out of the bag, and a Dove bar which he and his hunting buddies always cook on an open fire and affectionately refer to as “The Moore Haven Meal.”
Kevin has excelled at College Chefs due in large part to his dedication and resourcefulness. The latter trait permeates, not only every facet of his professional life, but his personal one as well. He got his air conditioning repair certification because, “air conditioners always break on the weekends in restaurants.” Rather than relying on others to help him take care of this recurring issue, Kevin just went out, got certified, got the equipment, and took care of it himself. Now, he uses those skills to help those around him whenever possible.
Most days you can find Kevin wandering from house to house lending a hand in any way he can. He's a welcome, warm, and calming addition to the company which values him and his vast skill-set so much that he has sky-rocketed up the ranks at College Chefs.
Chef Kevin Hyotte is a Swing Chef with College Chefs assisting areas largely in the South.
- Joel Higgins