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Kessyn Alan,
Food Hounds Blogger

Born and raised in Southern California, Kessyn is anything but "Valley." Trained in the kitchen of the family restaurant, then working in the front of house in a variety of restaurants that run the gambit from IHOP to Commander's Palace and everything in between across the country for over 15 years, Kessyn has developed a unique love for regionally authentic cuisine, a fat tummy and knows a good find and a perfect bite. After leaving L.A. for the bright lights of Anchorage, Alaska to begin his college career at Alaska Pacific University, Kessyn took jobs within the hospitality industry to help pay his way through school. Working in hotel kitchens and serving aboard cruise ships in their dining halls all while studying writing and mass communications in school. After college, Kessyn took a break to travel abroad literally tasting the world, Kessyn eventually moved to Las Vegas to work in acclaimed restaurants owned by the likes of Todd English and Mario Batali learning French and Northern Italian Cuisine. But the Vegas lifestyle and a line cook's paycheck weren't congruent so he left the kitchen for the Front of House. Training extensively in wine and spirits, Kessyn apprenticed as sommelier at Olives and Le Cirque before taking a crash course in mixology at the best bar tending school in the country, a gay bar off the Vegas Strip. Through a chance meeting Kessyn ended up taking a job in Boise, Idaho as a Service Captain at the famed Game Keeper restaurant inside the Owyhee Plaza Hotel where he became versed in Fine American cuisine. Learning skills like table side cooking, proper service etiquette and what exactly a crumber is for, he served on celebrities, politicians and "old money." Growing tired of the blue blood clientele, it was then he decided to go back to school, attending Boise State University studying music, where he failed out miserably due to working late nights at diner dives learning how to short order cook and wait on tables filled with drunken college kids and his fraternity brothers. All training that would one day prove to be invaluable.

In May of 2006 Kessyn moved to a still recovering New Orleans to help in his own way rebuild the historic city. Taking his place among the thousands of individuals who make up the fabled service industry, he has utilized everything he has learned over the course of his journeys. From describing countless bottles of wine, to making the perfect Sazerac, to dazzling a table by pouring ignited liquor from glass to glass, to dealing with the drunken party goers and gratuitous nudity that make up the Mardi Gras, along the way learning Creole, Cajun, Spanish, German and Asian cuisines. Through it all Kessyn has learned the most important distinction in restaurants. The restaurants that pretend and the restaurants that try. A restaurant that pretends may wow you once or twice. A restaurant that tries will wow you again and again.

    

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