“I was a week over 21 years old when I went to boot camp. I was a truck driver in the Army, became a master driver and trainer. I was deployed to Iraq. I was there a year when I suffered a traumatic back and brain injury from a Humvee incident. We crashed into the back of another 5 ton Humvee in our convoy. The dust came up and we couldn’t see. We hit the back end and I went through the windshield. Because of that injury I am now unemployable.
I’ve always loved to cook so I decided to go to online school and become a chef. I graduated from Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. I did it all online. I started furthering my education with artisan baking. I work out of my home, but I come to you and cook in your home. When you hire me you get me, my equipment, my experience, my personality. When I can see someone smile from eating the food I’ve cooked… that’s great! I have to say that my specialty is a black bean and beef stew called Farofa. It’s a Brazilian black bean stew. It’s got a lot of different meats in it: smoked ham hock, brisket, pork loin, chorizo and smoked sausage. Slow cook it with some black beans and orange slice. It’s a traditional Christmas dish in Brazil. That’s my favorite dish to make.
My experience in the Army was amazing, meeting a lot of different people and being able to see different places. I’ve been to different countries and most of the states. There are some interesting people in the world. I am grateful to have met other veterans in my community, people who know how life is in the army world and they bring you into this world. That is what we do in our Farmer’s Veteran Organization. We help each other.”
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