Growing Our Own

Caleb participated in Steepletown’s Kitchen Sage training back in 2015. After the six week training, he was offered a paid externship at the Blue Dog Tavern. Upon completing the externship, Caleb was offered part-time employment working in their kitchen. He started off doing dishes and light food prep, with a little bit of line cooking. After about two months he was given more responsibilities doing prep work and inventory. Two years later, after gaining more and more responsibility in the kitchen, Caleb took over as one of the lead cooks. As he shared, he can pretty much cook everything on the menu without looking at a recipe. Most of the time he is busy getting tickets filled and orders out to the customers as quickly as possible. When things slow down in the kitchen he offers some coaching and training to other staff.

When asked what keeps him at the Blue Dog Tavern for nearly 4 ½ years, he mentioned three things 1) the great camaraderie that he has developed with other staff and management; 2) the willingness to provide flexibility with his work schedule; 3) and that he is making much better than if he were to start over somewhere else. Caleb’s interest in cooking is not limited to his work hours at the Blue Dog as he takes his passion back home where he tries creating new dishes. What he likes most about this profession is that he is “able to work with my hands and eat all my mistakes.” It is fair to say that the West Side is growing on him as he helps the West Side grow, literally, through the amazing food he prepares at the Blue Dog Tavern.

Picture of Dick Bulkowski

Dick Bulkowski

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