How did Ford Fry get into the culinary world?
As a kid, it was through my travels. I was just interested in eating all the time. We would say, let’s go see the Eiffel Tower so we can go eat here. Or let’s go see the Louvre so we can go eat there. There was always that element of eating and exploring and being adventurous with food. Did I ever think I was going to be a chef? No. I grew up kind of country club boy, so I went to college, joined a fraternity and majored in business but had no clue what I wanted to do. We’d come home, and I would surround myself with friends who liked hunting and we’d always have to do something with the stuff that we caught fishing or hunting. We’d come home and bust the door down in the kitchen because it was locked, and we’d use the kitchen to cook stuff up. I kind of did that in high school as well. I had friends with Louisiana heritage, so we always cooked on weekends. My parents knew I really liked to eat, and there was a bunch of articles coming out in The Wall Street Journal talking about culinary school and a chef as a fast-track career, and it starting to become popular. This was back in the late ’80s early ’90s, so my dad was like, “Why don’t you go to culinary school?” I never cooked in a kitchen before, but I had waited tables. I was the worst waiter and bus boy. I’d eat the food as it came back. Then I said, “Okay, let’s go to culinary school.” So I packed up and drove my Jeep up to Vermont, and I just loved it. It was something I was excited to do. I loved the cooking aspect, I loved the food, and I loved eating it. I just got really lucky. It was an amazing fit. That’s what got me into it.