I moved to Rome, Italy with my parents when I was six months old. Dad was a journalist for Time/Life and eventually went to work for the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization based in Rome. He retired in 1997. I live in Italy a total of twenty three years before joining the Navy in 1978. I served one year in the Persian Gulf during the 1980 hostage crisis, four years in Gaeta, Italy on board the Sixth Fleet Flagship, and three years with a Small Boat Unit in the Panama Canal. I have spent only nine of my fifty four years of age in my native country, the United States. I am married to Cruzita Alarcon, whom I met in Belize.
I started my cooking career by graduating from the Culinary School of Washington on the GI Bill in 1988. From there I worked as a line cook at various four star restaurants in Virginia and Florida. In 1991, I was offered a job as sous chef at the Ramada Turquoise Reef Resort and Casino in the Turks and Caicos Islands, British West Indies.
In 1992, I was offered the position of Executive Chef at Ramada’s newest resort, Ramada Royal Reef Resort and Casino in Belize City, Belize. When my contract ended, I accepted the position of Executive Chef at Belize City’s oldest hotel, the Radisson Ft. George Hotel and Marina, where I worked for six years. I then opened my own restaurant in Belize City, Bob’s Bar & Grill. It has been featured in many travel guides including Frommer’s which called my restaurant the “premier dining establishment in Belize City.” It was a favorite haunt of the expatriate community as well as local politicians and businessmen. I also saw my share of celebrities from Bill Gates to actors such as Armand Assante, Debra Winger, and Benjamin Bratt. I sold the restaurant after six years.
I now teach high school Culinary Arts at Coral Glades High School in Coral Springs, Florida.