I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “it’s all about who you know,” or, “networking is key.” I’ll be graduating in less than a year, and as a grad, I can only hope that the people I’ve come across in my 21 years will help get me somewhere after school.
Who knows where I will end up: I can’t seem to get myself to leave Colorado, and I’m not quite sure what my passions are. I love food and traveling but… who doesn’t? I’m also pretty sure in order for those things to happen, it comes with a cost!
David Patterson, Executive Sous Chef here at The Broadmoor, not only has the skills, but seemed to know the right people and was in the right places at the right time to get him where he is today.
Patterson went in-state to the University of Kentucky majoring in Industrial Sociology: Work and Labor Theory. Though he deals with this idea in the workplace a lot, it’s not quite what you’d expect from a lead chef at a Five-Star hotel. But unintentionally, this chef grew up around cooking, and around good food. His grandpa worked all things vegetables – pickled, canned, and preserved after picking them from the garden.
Eventually, Patterson worked his way towards a Bachelor’s degree at University of Kentucky, an Associate’s at New England Culinary Institute and finally found his way to Maisonette in Cincinnati, Ohio working with Bertrand Bouquin. Sound familiar? These two chefs work side-by-side at the Broadmoor, today. “It’s all about who you know…”
Looking at my pantry, I see that I have some half-full boxes of whole-grain pasta (which doesn’t taste as great as regular pasta but, that’s me attempting to stay healthy…), some Nut Thins, some peanut butter; all a girl’s necessities. Don’t worry; I also have cucumbers and apples in the fridge. Now, riddle-me-this, what can you make for dinner from that? Not a whole lot.
Patterson, while working at Hotel Hana, Maui, had to do something similar to this every single day. Though, he probably had a little bit more to work with and was able to spark more creativity than I probably could. Everyday, a new shipment of fish and other ingredients would come in and on-the-spot, he’d create a meal to put on the menu, which changed daily at the small resort. Whatever was given to him was what he had to work with and get creative with.
Today at The Broadmoor, his favorite task is participating in menu development. He loves to see how it looks when dishes are created through tasting, testing, and practicing all of the different dishes to see how it fits into the menu itself and throughout the different restaurants.
Though testing and tasting food may sound glamorous, Patterson pushes that working as a chef isn’t how the media portrays it. He recommends that if you are striving to go to culinary school and want to become a chef, work in a restaurant first and get a feel for the setting. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes actions that take place that you don’t see on The Food Network, and it’s not always the dream Gordon Ramsay kitchen, either.
Patterson loves his job, but it doesn’t end here. There is always more to see and many more people to learn from. Before coming to The Broadmoor, Patterson took a year to travel. It really influenced his cooking and menu development knowledge. He plans on making more time for traveling, but for now, we’re looking forward to seeing his dishes and creations around the hotel for a long time to come!