Name: Gregory Wagner
Snapchef Location: Providence
What experience in your life led to you interested in food and cooking?
What led to my interest in food and cooking was my mother’s best friend. He was a head chef at Ballard’s on Block Island. We would go visit his house often and try a variety of food he would make for us. He taught me the basics of seasoning, grilling, pan searing, sautéing and more.
Describe the moment when you decided that you wanted to pursue a career in the culinary field.
I knew I wanted to pursue a culinary career right after I saw my mother’s friend cook and display various gourmet food.
What challenges have you faced – and what obstacles have you had to overcome – to pursue your career in the culinary field?
The challenges and obstacles I faced were the chefs and other people telling me I wouldn’t amount to anything and that I couldn’t handle the kitchen environment. But I overcame those challenges and obstacles by using the negativity as fuel and practiced cooking and following recipes at home during my free time. With all my hard work, I eventually had the skills to pursue a culinary career.
How have friends and family reacted to your career choice?
My friends and family were very encouraging to me when I told them I was pursuing a career in the culinary field. Everyday they help motivate me and even offer to be my guinea pigs when I make some new food. But the hardest part was convincing my mom that someone could make a career in the culinary field. Once she saw how successful I could become, she has become my biggest fan.
What do you like most about working in a professional kitchen?
I enjoy being in a unique environment. It is awesome to learn new equipment and how each type of equipment affects the flavors and textures of meals.
What’s your favorite comfort food?
My favorite comfort food would have to be Pasta alla Norma.
What is your favorite thing about working at Snapchef?
It is tough to pick a favorite thing about working here at Snapchef. I can tell you that I love how the bosses, managers, and owners all care about their employees like family and encourage you to strive and do your best every day. I have never had a boss or owner that has cared about me like they do here. Working here at Snapchef has given me hope.
What is your advice to those interested in pursuing a career in the culinary field?
May advice for those who are interested in pursing a career in the culinary field would be to not let anyone tell you that you are not good enough. Use that negativity as fuel to motivate and better yourself every day. It is important to set goals on what you want to achieve in the culinary field. You should also never sell yourself short.
What are some of your other hobbies outside of cooking?
Besides cooking, I enjoy being a full time father to my beautiful daughter, being a part-time volunteer firefighter and coaching and playing softball. If i do get some downtime, I love watching the food network to get some ideas on what I can try to cook next.