Take a moment out of your day and really learn about Chef Spencer, he may be young but his take on life comes from a rich well of wisdom.
America’s Test Kitchen Host
“do what nourishes your soul, don’t be afraid to put yourself first!”
Chef Spencer is better known to some as Spency, Steven, Stewart, or Spence because they can’t remember his name and he won’t correct them. His name might slip your mind, but what won’t is his wisdom and ability to make you think differently when it comes to food and life. Once you get to know this zen Chef you’ll understand why he just goes with the flow and takes life with the punches. Growing up on Long Island then moving to upstate NY for school might have something to do with his ability to adapt to things so quickly. He is now one of the top “America’s Test Kitchen Hosts” on Holland America Lines, teaching hands on workshops and performing cooking shows around the world. This amazing job and ability to eat his way through many different countries didn’t happen overnight though, lots of hard work made him the Chef he is today. “I went to State University of New York (SUNY) Cobleskill where I earned my Associated of Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts and Bachelor’s in Business Administration.” Even before getting formal training in the art of cooking something else sparked his interest at an early age.
“My parents told me that from an early age I loved to watch Martin Yan’s ‘Yan Can Cook’ and ‘The Frugal Gourmet’. So I had always an interest in cooking and food, but it really took off in high school when I was wrestling. I wanted to control my weight through my diet instead of “sucking weight”. Researching nutrition and holistic health, I made my own meals and that turned into me making meals at home too.” This early connection with food and nutrition is something that he has carried with him throughout his career so far and it is connected to his opinion of what being a chef means. “It means Expression to it’s fullest, learning something new everyday. Keeping yourself in a state of growth and being comfortable with uncomfortable and unconformity. Exploring the world and life in a way many do not through taste and curiosity. Being a chef is being the bridge and introducing people with all I just mentioned as you come in contact with them.” This is why when you meet Spencer you always feel like you walk away with more than you originally had, because he is always giving off the vibe of a genuine life teacher.
Being such a great giver and that means with advice and energy alike you have to remember to take care of number one too, you. “I meditate daily, go to the gym, sleep is most important…. Don’t ever underestimate a good nap, massages, and yoga. Most of all you have to be kind to yourself and stay positive. Do what nourishes your soul, don’t be afraid to put yourself first. Nobody or thing is worth sacrificing your self care. Time in nature is also very important to me.” Sometimes we come across people who put our lives on a trajectory that we aren’t even aware of until we look back, for Spencer it was Chef Joe. “The most influential chef in my life was Joe, he was a friend of my moms who was a chef at this pizzeria/deli near my house. When I was starting out working at McDonald’s (age 15) Joe took me on as his apprentice and I worked for him ion the weekends to see if I really wanted this life. I think of him every day and attribute him to letting me know what I wanted to do.”
This is also why I feel like Spencer gives great advice because he is an avid learner of life himself and continues to grow and learn daily. His advice to all aspiring chef pretty much sums up his view on life as well, “Follow your heart and trust your gut, do what you love and don’t take no for an answer. Too often in life we are made to believe we have to settle, but if it’s something you want to do then go for it. It takes sacrifice and you will miss holidays, weekends, and special events because most likely work them. But there is nothing more invigorating than living your truth. The power to say ‘no’ is important, but know when to say yes and give it a chance. You’ll be uncomfortable most of the time, but being uncomfortable is where growth happens, so take the leap.” Spencer is always taking leaps and you see where it’s taken him so far, can’t wait to see what he takes on in the future.
Please Follow Chef Spencer:
Facebook – Spencer Jason
Instagram – theschmerz