Ethan Kerr ’14, Chef de Cuisine, Canyon Ranch Lenox

Hi, my name is Ethan Kerr, and I am an Alumni from Paul Smiths College. I graduated in May of 2014, and immediately after graduation I moved to western Massachusetts to begin my field of study – Culinary Arts & Service Management. I applied for a position as a line cook at one of the top health resorts in the country called Canyon Ranch. I received the job while I was at school and actually moved two weeks after graduation. It was a long and stressful choice within such a short amount of time, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

Once there, I was determined, and still am, to become the best chef I can possibly be. The resort property consists of three separate kitchens; the main dining room, the demonstration kitchen, and the farm to table cafe/bistro. My first few months were spent in the main dining room with the executive chef, James Massey, getting a feel for the atmosphere and how the kitchen operates.

Within a couple of months I had worked my way around to the demonstration kitchen, teaching guests proper knife safety and how to cook delicious at home meals. I then worked my way to the farm to table cafe/bistro and instantly fell in love. The chef of the cafe was Kyle Nottingham and I trained under him for a few months before he departed back to Tucson, AZ. While he was there I learned more than ever imaginable from such a young and driven chef (like myself). He still continues to influence my work ethic and drive to this day. Kyle was the Chef de Cuisine and, when he left, I knew that his position was something I wanted to be in.

I applied for the position of Chef de Cuisine and I was promoted. It took me a year, but I am beyond grateful and humble to be in such a high position at such a young age. To this day, it is my job to work with all the local farms to utilize as much local produce as possible. I run the cafe/bistro as the chef to make sure staff is properly trained, food is exactly how it should be before it goes out the pass, change the menu seasonally, and keep up with current trends. Like I said, I am so grateful and humbled to be in such a great position at 23 and I can’t wait to see what my future holds. Anyone can do what they love if they put their mind to it and never quit. Thanks for reading my story thus far.

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