Growing up in the 70’s with Scottish parents; boiled meat, processed cheese food and canned veggies doesn’t seem like the ideal seed bed for a young culinary mind to sprout. Look deeper, though, and it’s possibly just the right incentive needed to grow these gastronomical roots.
Rewind 30 years and find young John home from elementary school and looking forward to, not kickball or tag with his friends, but watching “The Galloping Gourmet” or “Julia Child” preparing something special from scratch. No can openers, microwaves or cheese from a tube. Just real, honest food with classic methods of preparation. Of course, he didn’t really know what he was watching, but he knew he loved it! One of John’s first culinary creations was simply to put pickled beets on his tuna fish sandwich. Yup! That’s where it all began.
Fast forward 6 years and in 1984, John scored his first real food services job working part time as a dishwasher at Woodstock Pizza. One year later he was making the pizza dough and sauce and by 1988 he landed his first head lunch cook position in a small bistro. In 1996, several restaurants (and 8 years later), John attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and graduated with honors. He then set sail on a small cruise ship as Sous Chef traveling throughout South America and the Coastal U.S.
Upon completion of his sailing stint, the young chef set ground in NJ and worked at two of the top rated restaurants in Monmouth County. By 1998 John was looking for something different. Seventy hours per week, holidays and weekends were getting old. So, Foodini’s Personal Chef Service was born!
Chef John started out with one personal chef client, then two. Before you knew it, he was making a good living and having a blast doing it. He was now able to prepare exactly what he wanted and also get direct feedback from his clients. Something that rarely happens in the restaurant industry. He loved this instant gratification and it just fed the fire and ignited his passion further. John soon found himself yearning to prepare meals on a larger scale and incorporated full service, off premise catering into the mix. He continues to prepare customized meals for his Personal Chef Service clientele, but focuses more on running the catering company now. Chef John solidified his role as a prominent Jersey Shore caterer in 2007 when he purchased and built out his 1200 square foot commercial kitchen in Neptune, NJ.
Chef John is married to his right-hand woman, Alicia. They both live happily with their black Lab, Backster, five minutes from the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy operating Foodini’s Catering together. Chef John says, “it is truly a dream come true.”