My name is Joshua
Soma. As spawn of two cultures with strict traditions regarding honor and
perpetual self-improvement, you could say I'm a bit of a perfectionist. I'm
wired to do everything better next time. One might say that I compete with
Dad is a master electrician. He comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. My first job was
as his apprentice when I was about 13 years old. I proudly worked with him
after my 18th birthday.
a mere 14 years old, a lady from my church
found me a job at a sign company. I worked 8 hours a day, 5 days one
week. Then, I was laid-off due to overstaffing.
In 2002, I had my
first taste of the food industry. A Red Robin was being built in my home
town. I applied and started as a server. After 3 months, I realized serving
wasn't for me, and switched to bussing. Within 3 months, I earned a raise,
became the head busboy and the official-unofficial bar-back. The fast pace, intensity
--not to mention tips on top of hourly pay-- appealed to me. By the
following year, I was on the training team and nearly full-time hourly shift
supervisor. When I turned 21, applied for salary management, and started training in
Lansing that summer.
Ironically, I had never learned to cook or realized how much I love it until
I trained for front-of-the-house management. I was concocting new things every day-- not only at home,
but even during down-time at work. Food Network was the only channel I watched
for about 6 months. If I was had a recipe that called for a canned ingredient like cream
of mushroom, I would make it from scratch instead. Roasting turkey became a
monthly (not annual) event, because the stock alone could make other meals
for weeks. I'm hooked.
In 2007, I was
given the opportunity to work as a chef near my parents. In light of my
troubling financial situation, it seemed a wise decision to move back home. I cooked for 3 nursing homes.
It was a great job. As long as you make what's
listed on the menu, recipes are loosely enforced. Thusly, it is a great
place to try new things and play with food. I also learned how important
food can be, especially to those who don't have much else to look forward to.
After a 3-year stint in nursing, I sought a bigger paycheck. I found a part-time
Forte Belanger, the foremost special event
design and catering company in Michigan in my opinion...and
thinks so too. I find their innovative,
no-nonsense approach to preparing and executing fantastic food extremely
appealing. I'm a mercenary chef. If they have enough business, I do anything from prep at
the kitchen, prep on site, build at small-plate stations, work carve
stations, and I've even driven a hot-food transport from time to time.
Currently, I cook full time for
Ironwood Grill of Plymouth, a classy
sports bar in downtown Plymouth. They have great burgers, steak, seafood and
stone-fired pizza. I mainly work the garmo station: garnishing, finishing
plates, building salads, desserts. Currently, I am training for all
the other stations and loving it.