Tastes & Tastemakers

Chef David Ross

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?

I was 15 working at the A&W restaurant in Delavan. I made $1.76 per hour at the time!

WHERE DID YOU DO YOUR CULINARY TRAINING?

I was an indentured apprentice when I worked at the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, where I had a lot of amazing mentors and colleagues.

I want to make sure I serve people food that they want to eat instead of just food I want to serve.

WHY DO CUSTOMERS KEEP COMING BACK?

I have developed over the years a style I call “Heartland American Cuisine”. I focus on fresh approachable ingredients. I grow fresh herbs and raise honey bees, and I even have a salsa garden. Comfort foods play very well into my style. I want to make sure I serve people food that they want to eat instead of just food I want to serve.

The saying goes: find something you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life. I promote cooking as a “life skill”, whether you’re a professional chef, amateur, or an aspiring gourmet. Cooking involves all your senses: hearing, smelling feeling, and tasting, so for me it’s a truly transcendent experience. Of course there’s the business side, too. That always keeps you on your toes; you have to keep your eyes open so you stay relevant and fresh, and keep moving forward.

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