Meet The Chef: Chef Damien Reynor
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Damien Reynor has held a passion for culinary arts from a young age. With thanks to supportive parents, his interest in all-things culinary was encouraged all the way from home economics to his first apprenticeships in Dublin, London and France at 15. After secondary schooling, he enrolled in the Dublin College of Catering Cathal Brugha Street in Dublin where he made the decision to take his general culinary certification to the United States. From Ireland to Denver, Colorado, then Denver to Boulder and finally Seattle, Washington, Reynor flourished at the Desert Fire Grill. He secured the position of Corporate Trainer Chef where his talents were utilized across Colorado, Texas and Washington state.
After 4 years with Desert Fire, Reynor returned to school where he received his Bachelor’s in Pastry, specializing in classical French pastries and chocolate. He worked as an executive pastry chef in Seattle, but after some time decided to return to school again in pursuit of his band saw certificate. With this certificate, he worked in a number of butcher shops across Seattle. Following the butcher shop, he once again decided to continue his education, but this time for teaching. In the process of his certificate, he worked as a culinary school teacher for the prestigious French Culinary Institute (now The International Culinary Center) in NYC where he worked for 3 ½ years as a Lead Chef Instructor. He received his teaching certificate while working, making him a Certified Culinary School teacher by 2013.
Throughout his career, Reynor’s favorite element of his culinary experiences is and always has been learning everything he can – “all aspects” – of the culinary arts and food industry.
“I am continuously learning on the job to this day,” he explains fondly. “The most enjoyable thing to me is a new experience.”
His favorite part of being a chef is seeing the reactions to his finished product. “The research, tests and trials it takes to making that winning recipe is quite a process…” he remarks. “When the customer gets to see the dish and finally taste it – their reaction is everything. Getting to see and hear their satisfaction to all that work is by far the most rewarding, invigorating and motivating part of being a chef.”
Take It From The Best
When it comes to the ever-changing world of food trends, Reynor sees the quickening momentum of deconstructed / personalized meals. “They buy a food box – a dinner box – where there is a steak in there, a packet of noodles and a packet of sauce, so all they have to do is assemble and put it together,” he explained. “That’s a new, fun thing that I’ve noticed.”
From a lifetime of culinary expertise, Reynor tests the quality of his ingredients by putting it to the test. “I taste everything I cook at all stages of cooking.” “I season as I go, with one more test right before its plated. If it doesn’t yield a good, proper, end result I won’t implement it in any recipes further.” From executive chefs to beginners, trial and error paves the way toward perfection.
Top Kitchen Tip: “Don’t put wet fish in a hot frying pan.”
Check out these recipes from the man himself!
August 20, 2018