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COOKING IS how I show LOVE.
-Chef Danny Kievit
Since I was very young, I have been infatuated with food, and not just the substance of it but the entire being of it. Food to me is a gateway for memories and timeless connections. It can allow a glimpse into the past or create a bond that becomes unbreakable. Memories created and times remembered, food is a vehicle of love, and this is the reason that I cook.
On my father’s side my grandma is from the Philippines and my Grandpa is from the Netherlands. So, you could imagine what my dinner table would look like. It would be an array of colors and aromas, which gave me so much pleasure. While all my friends were eating hot dogs and grilled cheeses, I was eating exciting and new foods. This expended my palette and it taught me that meal time and cooking was about being together and sharing moments and experiences. I remember watching my grandpa make bananas foster for the first time and how the flame would light up the room, I was in awe and I knew what I wanted to do.
I wanted to give people the feeling that I felt when I would have bananas foster with my grandpa, or the first time I ate my grandmas’ famous adobo. I wanted to share the love.
I got my first restaurant job at the age of 15. I became a dish washer and began to learn the lessons of the kitchen. I excelled in this environment and was soon promoted to prep cook. This taught me the importance of being precise and limiting waste. Soon I was cooking on the line and had become an integral part of the team. I felt I was part of something bigger and this grew my desire to learn more. Once again I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
After graduating from Lake Travis High School, I went to Denton to attend UNT, where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management. In 2003 I returned to Austin to attend Culinary School at the Escoffier Institute, which was then called the Culinary Academy of Austin. While attending school, I worked under Chef Arik Williams at Castle Hill Café, as well as Reeds Supper Club under Chef Alex Ralston. I moved on to become the Pastry Chef for the Truluck’s restaurant group and eventually became Executive Chef of three separate locations, two in Dallas and on to my final stop in Houston, Texas. My most recent position was being Director of Culinary at Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill, where I helped to open their new location in Cedar Park. The restaurant world has been very good to me and has armed me with skills and knowledge that will provide impact for my new direction of becoming a personal chef.