Starting as a dish washer in his mother’s professional kitchen was Joe MacLellan’s introduction to the culinary world. One day, a cook called in sick and MacLellan took his place on the line. Even though he ended up simply buttering toast, MacLellan enjoyed the experience. He chose to go to culinary school but initially it wasn’t out of passion.
However, once he started the culinary program, his passion was kindled by two cookbooks: Thomas Keller’s French Laundry Cookbook and Michael Ruhlman’s The Soul of A Chef. Keller’s cookbook, in particular, excited MacLellan. He explains, “That cookbook blew my mind with what was possible with food. I was at a point where I was working at pubs and frying chicken so that was amazing.”
At that point, MacLellan applied himself diligently to his studies and his reading and finished culinary school. Ever since, his career has been driven by his desire for constant improvement and the pleasure he takes in learning new ways of approaching food.