Frank Vesecky, left, of Soldotna, flips a chicken and vegetable stir-fry at Louie's Restaurant in Kenai as assistant D.J. Dillon wipes the grill clean.
Photo by John Hult
Louie’s Restaurant in Kenai
Employed here for:
“At first, I thought ‘What the hell am I doing up here?’ There were ice crystals on the trees and ice fog was on there I didn’t know what that was. I stay here because I like to hunt and fish.”
Write recipes, cook meals, supervise other kitchen staff.
How did you end up a chef?
“I didn’t go to school, I’d say I went to a school of ‘Hard Knocks’, when you learn by other people. I started out as a bus boy, went to a dishwasher, went to a prep cook, then I started cooking breakfast. From breakfast I went to dinners, from that to a pantry cook where you do the salads. From that I went to a sous chef, which is right under a head chef. Some places have different names for the different chefs, but here, everybody kind of doubles as everybody else.”
What do you like about your job?
“I’ve been cooking for about 35 years. I just love to cook.”
What don’t you like?
“You have to work all the holidays, and in the summer, it’s really long hours, 12 to 16 hour days.”
What sets this job apart?
“It’s the quality of the food and the quality of the meat. It’s top-of-the-line. It’s a classier place. I don’t wanna cut anybody else down, but I wouldn’t want to go to work at (fast food restaurant) or something. It’s a different standard of food.”
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