Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Saia.
Hi Robert, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
My experiences started at a young age at 14. I had an opportunity to work with my lifelong buddy Derek Pitt, at the World Famous Topeka Zoo in Topeka, Kansas. His mother was a labor fulfillment executive, and the zoo needed young kids to be stroller boys. So I accepted, and became a stroller boy at a whopping $.10 a rental in 90 degree heat at the time. The next stage in my career at the zoo, was to be promoted into the concession stand that sold typical Fair food like snow cones, popcorn, and cotton candy. It was awesome for a young fellow, and in the off season we were vendors at the Shrine Circus for a local slave labor group that reminded me of the Fratelli’s from the 1985 film “Goonies!” CREEPY!
Anyway, that was my introduction into the food world. Selling all the Fair favorites of the time to an array of customers throughout the year until I went to High School. I was a trumpet and a saxophone major in college. And I was a dishwasher at Pittsburg State Kansas at a local Cantina Mexican restaurant. I hurt my lip one summer in a town we lived in called McPherson one party night. That stopped my musical career ambitions, and then made a quick decision with my mother’s pressure to change to Dietetics at Kansas State University.
I always loved food and science, so the change appeared logical. I graduated well, and went on to get my Registered Dietitian credential in 1991. I had my first food service managerial job at St. Joseph Hospital in Wichita, Kansas. I had a excellent boss, and I decided to pursue my culinary degree at Johnson County Community College in Kansas City Kansas. I received my Certified Chef de Cuisine in 1995. I combined/adapted my degrees so I could be a more effective leader and manager for my employees. I went on to Ice Carve, travel the planet and worked and experienced many countries like Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Polynesia, France, and Mexico.
I was super successful in competitions before Food Network and the like. I carried on aggressively seeking knowledge and experience. I met my soul mate coming back from New Zealand and married in 2000! She became a highly trained Sous Chef and partner as Mrs. Chef, me Mate! We traveled and lived in the Northwest for the past 15 years, and settled now in the Denver area. We do high end catering on the weekends for Cozymeal, a culinary experience/instruction company out of San Francisco. Our biggest accomplishment and prize is our first book “The Center of the Plate” Culinary guide. And matching Apps, the first of their kind. All available on Apple and Android.
The next book is done, and awaits publishing within the next few months. Titled “The Center of the Plate BALANCE! I have been a Culinary Instructor since 2015, and maintain that with the private dining arena. Mrs. Chef and I are still moving the knowledge bar, and developing apprentices. We are still in contact with our students. We are looking to do a cooking show, as there are not a lot of successful couples doing such a thing. The Sky is still the limit. Mrs. Chef works for the Mental Health Center of Denver, as well as myself while supporting our teaching developments. We have a 25 year old son who is a Minor League pitcher named Easton. Bon Appetit! Cheers, and Good on ya Mates!
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has not been a smooth road. But, our commitment to each other was the biggest asset. The biggest struggle has been the economy and political changes. Our book was published just before Covid-19. That crushed the food industry and food interest. So we wrote the next book with recipes and pictures to hope full produce better sales as the Hospitality industry recovers. We stay focused and keep our eye on the ball!
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
What we have done is create the first of its kind. “Recipe and Menu Genesis!” You no longer need to purchase Cook Books. We simply have solved an age old condition in the food industry.. With “The Center of the Plate,” you have an endless supply of ideas for RECIPE GENESIS! The hardest thing for and food service professional or home cook, is coming up with new ideas. Using food science and culinary artistry, nothing is impossible outside of the finite ingredients available on Terra/Earth. Our recipe development system, gives anyone the ability to generate whatever dish they want to create.
There is a plethora of recipes out there, it is how you develop and execute and idea that sets you apart. With our book and apps, a culinarian is unstoppable! There is no other book or apps like “The Center of the Plate!”
What matters most to you?
My Sous Chef/Wife, Family, logic, food science, diet, and creativity. Without these timeless factors, you cannot create and be supported in your journey! It is the base that allows a person to create and grow to success!
- The Center of the Plate book $28.95
- The Center of the Plate Apps $2.95
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: thecenteroftheplate.com
- Instagram: Robert Saia
- Facebook: Robert Saia
- Youtube: Robert Saia
Eric Von Weist