Me, with a 25-lb wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

I’m on a mission to find you the best grub for the best prices in Seattle.  I’m no-holds-barred when it comes to food, and I may send you to a greasy spoon, a taco truck, a dive bar, or the tiniest little place you never knew existed.  Or the joint might come with a five-star rating.  “I’ll try anything once,” could be my famous last words one day, but it’s led me to some really delicious discoveries that I might never have encountered otherwise.

From Seattle-born teriyaki, street tacos, greasy burgers, barbeque, falafel, and everything in between–it will be tested, rated, and reviewed right here for you.  Occasionally I’ll throw in a few recipes for you to try at home, too, should you have a craving.  And I’m a fan of telling the stories behind the food, its history and its origins, the people behind it and their passion, so I’ll sprinkle that in whenever I get the chance.

I want you to get the best, most drool-worthy bites you can stuff into your mouth, so this will always be an objective, honest opinion from someone who has eaten and cooked a whole lot of different foods over the years.

Speaking of my experience, how do you know I’m qualified to tell you what’s the best of the budget eateries?  Well, for starters, I’m a classically-trained chef and fromagère.

Whole Roast Pig
Whole-Roasted Pig by Big Wheel Provisions’ crew.

After a lifetime of cooking and eating in the American South, where food is a massive part of daily and social life, I finally decided to attend Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.  I was taught by some really wonderful people, including an American Culinary Federation Certified Master Chef and Certified Executive Chef, and a Master Sommelier.  I also got to hear “Chef Baker?  Haha, maybe you should bake something, chef!” pretty much everyday…

I did my externship at the world-class Ocean Grill at The Breakers Palm Beach, and then returned to Orlando to work and learn under Chef Tony Adams with his multi-award-winning gourmet food truck, Big Wheel Provisions.  Featured on Eat Street on Food Network, as well as in the Eat Street Cookbook, the team went on to open Orlando’s first pop-up restaurant, Kennebec, before closing the truck.  (If you ever want to do something totally insane, and don’t feel like sleeping and just want to live off coffee, then open a pop-up restaurant for a week.)

Saskatchewan brisket with chanterelle demi, spaetzle, and local seasonal vegetables at Harvest Eatery & Fresh Market.

I then became the sous chef under the passionate and talented Chef Garrett Thienes at Harvest Eatery & Fresh Market in Saskatchewan, Canada, winning ‘Rookie of the Year’ and being featured on CTV’s The Prairie Diner.  After that, I spent two weeks training under maître fromager and America’s foremost expert on cheese, Max McCalman, learning the ins and outs of everything about cheeses at The Wine Room on Winter Park, Florida’s elite Park Avenue.  I was tapped for CNBC’s Restaurant Startup, and epicurious.com wrote a whole article on my creative menu concepts.

Beyond my formal professional experience, I’ve also volunteered my culinary skills for multiple charity events whenever I could, and that afforded me the crazy opportunity to get to work with the likes of Chef Matt Cargo–now the Chef de Partie at Otium in Los Angeles–and Chef Brandon McGlamery of Luma on Park and Prato.

Now a transplant to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, this blog was born during a time when I myself had very little in the way of finances, but my living situation dictated that I needed to run and grab something to eat every day rather than cooking at home.  Looking for the best I could get with a strict budget of $10 or less per day, I decided my discoveries were something I should share with the rest of the world, because I believe that everyone deserves to enjoy the very best they can while saving their money for other things, like life.

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