Chefs of Chef Works August 2016 Douglas Farnsworth




Where did you get your start?

My first job wasn’t really a restaurant job at all. I was working at the Greyhound Bus station in Biloxi, Mississippi, as a luggage porter. Right next door was a greasy spoon cafe called, “Papa John’s.” On Saturdaymornings, I’d help him put away his groceries and dry goods in return for a breakfast of steak and eggs.

He taught me the importance of proper food storage, product handling and rotation. I never imagined I’d be using those basic skills everyday.

I worked a couple of fast food and quick service restaurants as a teen, but in my early 20’s I took my first serious culinary job at Silver Lake Lodge, Deer Valley Resort, in Park City, Utah.


What is your favorite dish?

There are so many! I love cooking, but right now, nothing beats cooking a pot of alligator chili with my kids; we always have a blast.

Start your pot with the holy Cajun trinity (onions, celery, and green bell peppers), garlic and spices. Black turtle, navy and kidney beans with chopped tomatoes and plenty of gator meat makes for a hearty chili that my kids love.


What was your favorite dish
as a child?

My mom’s red beans and rice with spicy Andouille sausage always made me happy, but the plate I always remember was my dad’s one-off pancake syrup.

He used Sand Pears that we picked from Hazel Monk’s tree to make a fruit compote topping. It blew my mind.



Who inspired you to
be a chef?

Chef Clark Norris and Chef Todd DePriest made me rethink my career.

I was set on studying architecture and was cooking at Silver Lake to help pay for school. It started as a cool job with ski benefits, but by the time I left that job I was on a new career path to become a chef.


What would you be doing if you weren’t a chef?

I catered a stage of the Tour of Utah (pro bike race) a couple of years ago. If I could travel and cater cycling events, I’d be stoked, but I’d still be a chef. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.



What advice can you give an aspiring chef?

Be humble and ask for help before you need it. Don’t cut corners. Work crazy smart. Be clean. Be productive. Be willing to work hard and long hours. Recognize your limits, but work through them. Demand more of yourself than you do of others, but recognize you can’t do it alone. Learn to give some control to trusted individuals. For your own sanity – have a hobby that is not food.


If possible, what would you have done differently in your career?

Oh man, that’s a loaded question. Of course I’d skip all the years I screwed around in kitchens that were never going to make an impact.

I imagine I would have loved to work for Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller or even Gordon Ramsay.

Ultimately I’m proud of where I’ve landed, and where I’m headed.



Get in contact with Chef Douglas Farnsworth:





Restaurant Website:

2 thoughts on “Chefs of Chef Works August 2016 Douglas Farnsworth

  1. And your family and friends are very proud of you. Not only a great chef, but an all around great guy.

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