24 Mar 2014

The Prep Station: College Chef Don Bowman Working on Book

The Prep Station: College Chef Don Bowman Working on Book

With nearly 40 years in the culinary world and a career that's taken him from the West Coast to the East Coast and now the Midwest, Chef Don Bowman has a story or two to share. Although he stays busy feeding the guys of Lambda Chi Alpha at the University of Iowa, Chef Don is also following a new passion: writing. 

He has an amazing background in the culinary field. Chef Don has worked at UC Berkeley in California. He was part of the world's first online grocery store and meal delivery service, Webvan. While he served as the executive chef/director of dining service at Maharishi University in Fairfield, Iowa, he helped design the college's new kitchen. "It's the only kitchen that I've ever been in where it actually has enough production area," Chef Don said. And that's just a few highlights of his storied career!

It was at his 40th college reunion that someone told him he should write a book. "I was talking to some people and one of them said, 'You've always been one of the best storytellers we've ever known. Have you ever thought of writing a book?'" Chef Don said. "So the germ of that idea kind of bounced around my head for a little while, and then I thought, 'You know what, I think I'm going to attempt to do this.'"

When it came to the type of book, Chef Don had something very specific in mind. "Well, I don't want to do a cookbook; I'd rather do a book about cooking," he said. "The idea is to start off with a story based on fact, maybe doing a little elaboration, but basically the germ of the story is based on something that has happened in my life. I use the story to illustrate a cooking principle, and then I elaborate on the principle to flesh out a chapter, and then at the end of each chapter there's one recipe." 

One chapter is titled, "Don't Let Bears in Your Kitchen." A few details: It takes place in the Arctic Circle. There's a real, live polar bear in the story. The recipe at the end is for cinnamon rolls. You can use your imagination to fill in the blanks, but it will be nowhere near Chef Don's story!

Chef Don has already written seven chapters, and he looks forward to sharing his stories with people both in and out of the culinary world. 

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