‘My grandfather gave me the work ethic that I have, working 60, 70 hours a week.’
“My grandparents owned Two Morrow’s Pub, which is an Irish bar in Patchogue. It was a very respected place for many years. My grandparents had it since the ’70s. Everybody in my family worked there: my mom, uncles and cousins. There were very few people that weren’t family that worked there. I have a very close and big family.
“The pub was like the hub where everybody came after work or hung out, and everybody knew each other. There were and still are a lot of regulars. My family all realize how much the pub helped me. That’s where it all started when I was a kid. I always had a job. I always had a home to come back to. It is really big for me. It means a lot to me.
“My grandfather gave me the work ethic that I have, working 60, 70 hours a week. He passed away during COVID, and the pub was bought by friends of the family. They didn’t change the name and kept the same style out of respect. My grandfather was a big player in my life. He’s the one that got me washing dishes at 12 years old at his bar on the weekends. Then, my uncle Liam was the one that got me into cooking burgers, wings and stuff like that at the beginning.
“I didn’t even realize I wanted to be a chef until I went to Dockers one day out east. I met chef Scott, and I worked the salad station with him for just a couple of weeks. That is where I got the first taste of fine dining and the fancier stuff instead of pubs. But I did not like the strict schedules, being in kitchens all day and not being able to talk to people. That bothered me. It bothered me a lot.
“Then I met Brian Engelman and Chris Coley. They basically came to me with this food-truck idea and said they needed a chef for it. Brian was the first one that had the Nug Hut idea, which he had since 2018. Basically, we sell chicken nuggets and chicken sandwiches. We make everything fresh. We do not freeze anything.
“I get to be myself on the food truck. I like to make friendships with everybody. I always wanted a food truck just because of the people. You get to engage with everybody. That is what made me get pulled into this.”
Interviewed by Victoria Bell