I was a student at Portsmouth High School when I signed up to take a culinary arts course in the vocational department. I thought at the time that learning how to cook would be a great way to impress the ladies. This was my junior year and it was also the first year for new instructor Diane Canada. Chef Diane was an alumnus of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and had a very distinguished resume in the hospitality field. I knew nothing about the CIA, and I had no idea what kind of life changing events were to come my way via chef. Just imagine having a room full of sarcastic kids who treated this class like a study hall, and that was the environment that Chef Diane had deal with. Most teachers would have dismissed every student one by one until nobody was left…but not chef, she broke through each kids individual wall to develop personal relationships. This was my first experience understanding that cooking side by side with someone required trust & loyalty.
I was working in downtown Portsmouth as a dishwasher to make money on the side. After having been intrigued with cooking I begged my boss to let me cook a couple shifts a week. My boss contemplated the decision for a few months before he decided to allow me to run the pantry. I began producing salads, pizza’s, and stocking the station for lunch & dinner service. I grew up fast, and began managing Sunday Brunch shifts, and competing in state culinary competitions. I earned a silver medal at the NH state finals. It was at this point that I knew I had found something that made me feel proud with a sense of direction. With the guidance of Chef Diane, I attended the Culinary Institute of America in to Hyde Park, NY.
Chef Morse is currently Executive Sous Chef of the luxury Grand Geneva Resort just outside of Chicago in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.