The French Chef… well, sort of.


My name is Sean, and I am stepping into the world of creating online content. A little bit about me… I am a husband, father, friend, entrepreneur, counselor, mentor, coach, chef, and semi-retired caterer. I have wanted to try my hand at writing for quite some time, and I’m toying with the idea of creating a blog. I’m hoping to come to a decision on what subject matter I will be writing about. I plan on experimenting with several different topics, the first of which will be in the realm of culinary arts and catering. I would love some feedback, and hope that I can gain some insight on the viability of of this endeavor.

As a chef and caterer, I’ve been in and out of the food industry most of my life. I didn’t attend culinary school to get my degree, although I wanted to, but I’ve always been a student of sorts. At the age of 24, while island hopping in the Caribbean, I decided to enroll in a few culinary classes back home in Kansas City. My intent was to get serious, and sharpen my skills in a few areas. This was a smart decision, given the fact I had little formal training and was more of a culinary hack at this early phase of my career. I enjoyed the classes, so I continued taking the occasional course as time and money permitted. Even so, this was not where I gained most of my knowledge about being a successful chef. Not unlike the other culinary students I worked alongside of, my education came from studying, close observation, and application, just not in the traditional culinary school methodology. Please allow me to explain… I’ve always loved reading food related media; foodie magazines, cookbooks, restaurant reviews, and the like were my improvised textbooks. I have always gravitated towards watching all sorts of cooking shows, even at an early age, and I still can’t seem to get enough; these shows have been a highly valuable and diversified variation on my classroom instruction. Even with all this culinary influence, most of what I’ve learned has come from spending time in the kitchen, learning from others more skilled than myself, applying the knowledge that I’ve gleaned from reading and observing, and through countless meals rooted in experimentation with different ingredients and techniques; the kitchen has been the lab in which I’ve refined my skills.

I have always loved cooking, even as a child, and I come from a family of chefs, food critics, restaurateurs, and foodies… so you might say that cooking is in my blood. My first real culinary “achievement” was preparing Julia Child’s French Onion Soup from scratch at the ripe old age of eleven, and as I recall, I did so while occasionally using my best Julia Child voice (or maybe my best Dan Aykroyd version from SNL). Admittedly, I was quite mesmerized by Julia as a child; while watching reruns of “The French Chef” in the mid ’70′s, usually after my Saturday morning cartoon and breakfast cereal ritual, I would grab my Big Chief Tablet and Husky Pencil, and take notes (yeah, I know… odd child). Here’s the thing though… she seemed genuine to me, she was a good teacher, perhaps a little quirky at times, but I liked that about her, and I hope to be the same kind of person.

This is why I’m here… to be authentic, to help and to teach others, and to be a little goofy at times. I’ve learned over the last few years to stop taking myself so seriously, and to have more fun, a lot more fun! My desire for you is to enjoy life to its fullest, and if I can facilitate that in some way through my blog entries, whether by sharing my own personal experiences, professional insights, or through laughter (often at my own expense), then I will have the satisfaction of knowing that maybe I’ve had some sort of positive impact on your life. All I ask is that you try to do the same, and go do something that has a positive impact on someone today… heck, why not try impacting two people, for that matter!

So, in the famous words of Julia, “bon appétit!”

Sean Ruthrauff

P.S. If you’ve never watched a Julia Child episode of “The French Chef”

P.P.S. Julia closes the previous video by saying, “You might want to follow it with FRUIT”… so, check out Dan Aykroyd’s SNL parody of ”The French Chef”

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