Jack got his start in the food service industry during a summer job as a dishwasher while he was in college. His dishwashing partner was given a promotion to cook, and according to Jack, "He could burn water." This motivated Jack to become a cook, because if his friend could do it, anyone could. He considers this his "baptism" to cooking.
Continually moving up the ladder from a fry cook to basic cook, and eventually manager, Jack has enjoyed his success in the kitchen. During his career he has taken every opportunity to learn more about his trade. He was even given the opportunity to attend seminars about cooking and gastronomy. Most of all, Jack has enjoyed working with the many different kinds of people that he's met while cooking.
Much of Jack's experience came as manager of The Library Restaurant in Superior. This restaurant was initially a full service restaurant and supper club, but it eventually became a Mexican and American establishment. The Library's owners wanted to ensure that their food preparation was second to none, and they took Jack under their wings to give him extensive training. He was even taught by a chef from Mexico how to make many authentic Mexican dishes from scratch.
Jack remained at The Library Restaurant until coming to St. Scholastica in 1996, originally as the Kitchen Manager. Currently, Jack is the Operations Manager which means he oversees the GDR, Storm's Den and catering.
The greatest asset here at the college are his employees, Jack says. He enjoys the family atmosphere within the kitchen. Jack believes in a team effort, and he encourages every one of his employees to think and make decisions on their own.
Jack says that "college life" fits him and his beliefs, and he enjoys giving back to the college community. Jack has tried to provide the students with "lifelong learning skills," something that he says many college curricula lack.
One of the ways in which Jack is helping his students is by offering his free cooking class. Jack started teaching "Cooking with Jack" in 2001. Each class offers a different theme, including "Introduction to Cooking," "Valentine's Day," "Italian," and "Grilling Out." All of the classes feature cooking, as well as free samples and often include volunteers from the crowd.
Jack is also one of the founders of the Twin Ports Thanksgiving Buffet offered at the DECC, having been involved with the event even before coming to work at the college. He was also involved in the creation of a second meal in the spring, offered on campus and utilizing the talents of the Dignitas classes.
If you have any questions for Jack, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.