two locations to serve you the suite at cafe 121 chithyme at cafe 121
As a young child, I was surrounded by a family of great cooks. Throughout my school years, I would always prepare class projects using food anytime possible. I also enjoyed school and had a young dream to become a kindergarten teacher. This was inspired, I believe, by having great teachers throughout my younger years. Upon entering middle school, I participated in every event possible that involved food. I was never into sports, but one day I stumbled upon the concession stand featured food prepared by our local foods and occupational classes, overseen by two very inspiring teachers whom I had yet to get to know: Patricia Werth and Mickey Todd. Over the next few years, I became old enough to take Mrs. Werth’s class. With her support and guidance, along with the support of my family, I continued to study foods and entered a recipe contest that was in its second year from Johnson and Wales University. I had never heard of the school, but Mrs. Werth assured me it was a great one!

After much work on recipes, with again the guidance of my family and teacher, I created and submitted a recipe into the contest. Much to my surprise, I became one of the top 10 finalists and was off to Rhode Island for the live competition. I later won 1st runner-up for this event and landed a scholarship to JWU. The rest is history! I continued to learn foods and enjoy education. At this point I had transformed my dream of teaching kindergarten to teaching culinary arts.

In 1994, I completed my culinary arts degree at JWU and began working in catering and participating in all of the events I could be a part of within the university and community, gaining experience and knowledge of the industry.

Now 20 years after entering into the industry, I have continued to grow my passion for Culinary Arts and Education. I taught Culinary Arts at Lee County High School for 12 years then entered the college level of instruction in 2011 with Central Carolina Community College. I am now department Chair for Hospitality and Culinary Art and the Natural Chef Certification program. These programs allow me the ability to continually grow my experience as a Chef and help to inspire those who share the same goals and dreams. 

I hope you enjoy this Web site and my story. I am always eager to discuss my past experiences and the people who influenced my reaching my career goals.

chef hamm's recipies