Bates Technical College
HEAD COOK: J.J. Meland
COMPETITION: World Burger Championship
QUALIFYING EVENT: WFC Special InvitationI grew up in professional kitchens. My father was a executive chef and I followed him to work most of the time, helping out in the kitchen whenever I could. So when it came to deciding my career it was an easy and natural choice. I went to my fist culinary school when I was only 16 years old, working on graduating high school at the same time. The school was in Astoria Oregon. After graduating at 17 I wasted no time and started cooking. After four years of cooking I was a lead line cook at a busy restaurant. My chef at that time told me that I would never make it as a chef. That was all the motivation I needed. I went back to Culinary School and I graduated with a 4.0 G.P.A and class alumni president of Western Culinary Institute in Portland Oregon. I came back to my old job as the sous chef and quickly took over as head chef proving to myself that I could do it. I have been a chef for many well-known hotels and restaurants, such as the Marriott, Coast Hotels & Resorts, Silver City Restaurant and El Gaucho in Washington state and serve on the board for the Washington State Chef’s Association. I am a active member in the community, working with the Boys and Girls Clubs, local high schools, and the Goodwill. I am currently a tenured culinary arts instructor at Bates Technical College in Tacoma Washington teaching two programs. I feel this competition is the next step in my culinary adventures. I am very honored to be invited and, very excited cook in the World Food Championships!