About this blog...

Food has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. Food and the festivities surrounding its arrival to the table has always been a focal point in our family. For many years I have been amassing the cookbooks, recipe cards, cooking journals, diaries, manuscripts and clipping files of our once extensive family.

Personally, I’ve been professionally involved with food for over 40 years in numerous and varied culinary capacities across the country so I also have the collected stories, as well as current and on-going food-related experiences from my own life I’d like to share.

My idea has long been that someday I would bring all of this marvelous raw material together into a culinary journey through our family’s heritage. This journal is the beginnings of that journey.

Some Background for this blog...

I'm a culinary school grad (Johnson & Wales '80) and was a professional chef in many different capacities (from line cook to exec chef, pastry chef, private/personal chef, large-scale catering commissary chef etc). I had my own small candy-making company in Tucson AZ for a few years. 

I am now on a different side of the culinary business and with my wife Kathryn operate Black Mesa Ranch Inc, a small ranch and farmstead artisan goat cheese dairy, supplying many of the finest restaurants in our area. In addition to cheese, our ranch produces grass-fed beef and whey-fed pork that we sell "on-the-hoof" to locals and some of our chef-customers. 

Black Mesa Ranch is nestled at the base of Black Mesa in the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona outside the historic pioneer town of Snowflake.  We have been here about 10 years and continue work on  improving this "extreme rural", 280-acre "off-grid" (we generate all of our own electricity, primarily from solar and wind sources) homestead property with an eye toward self-sufficiency and a plan for sustainability.  

I still make and sell fine handmade chocolates and other candies professionally from our commercial kitchen during the Holiday season and we do the occasional small on-and off-premise catering gig from the Ranch. 

We also host periodic 3-day "full immersion" workshops where we teach goat herd management (my wife's department), artisan cheese-making, sustainable gardening, off-grid living and try to foster an appreciation for quality local foods in general. We have a very extensive web site (I believe "content-rich" is the appropriate term) all about he Ranch and our dairy at BlackMesaRanch(dot)com.