(EDIT: He is, however, now a professional food writer.)
In actuality, aside from pulling coffee for a brief while once upon a time, he’s never prepared food in a professional capacity in his life. Well, there was that one time. And this was kinda fun. But more accurately, he’s just a big ol’ food nerd. Or pathetic hanger-on, take your pick. In truth, he’s one of the many wannabes who loves food – both consuming and producing it – but was too much of a wuss to make the life sacrifices necessary to become a cook, and certainly isn’t going to start now, because kids, mid 30s, bad back... yeah, that ship has sailed. So when not taking care of his kids or occasionally doing some voiceover for a commercial, cartoon or video game, he does what anybody with ideas and opinions and limited outlet for them does these days. He blogs about them. Which is good for you, because if there’s one thing the internet is desperately lacking, it’s food blogs.
Officially, he started Skillet Doux on New Year’s Day of 2006, after he was encouraged to put his food journal online for family and friends to share. He’s still a little surprised anybody other than his family and friends actually reads it, particularly since he still writes it primarily to satisfy his almost clinically compulsive need to catalog things. He's even more surprised that back in 2011, the editors of Saveur Magazine named him a finalist for their Best Food Blog Awards in the Best Restaurant / Dining Coverage category. Not gonna lie. That was kind of awesome. As was winning Best Food Blog - 2012 from Phoenix New Times. That was just as awesome for completely different reasons. But in any case, he fills the blog with anything food-related he feels like photographing and writing about; mostly restaurants these days, on rare occasion a recipe, and sometimes an overly wordy rant on some other edible topics. He's originally from Chicago, but the fates have led his family to Phoenix, so that's where most of his writing is centered these days.
Philosophically speaking, he doesn’t like to use the word “reviews” for his restaurant writeups. He tries to be less quantitative and more qualitative, not hesitant to criticize, but more interested in identifying what makes places unique and interesting rather than placing them all into some continuum to determine which is "best.” He doesn’t adhere to any formalized restaurant critic ethics guidelines, but he’s probably overly careful about being honest about how he reaches his opinions. He’s never accepted anything without paying for it (compensated for via an appropriately inflated tip line if it’s not added to the check), but if he did, he’d totally tell you right up front before writing about it. He has his biases like everybody else, he just strives to be aware of them and mention them whenever it’s appropriate. He rarely makes multiple visits to comprehensively cover a menu, and tries to convey the sample size upon which his opinions are based. He makes no attempt to hide who he is, but would never call attention to that either. He likes to think he’s learned a couple of things about food over the years, but he doesn’t hesitate to sample and write about plenty of things about which he’s woefully undereducated – he’ll just say so. The crux of it is that he prefers to present his writeups not as comprehensive, authoritative, objective screeds, but rather personal thoughts and experiences for readers to treat as data points and consider in context with everything else they’ve heard, just as they would consider word of mouth from any other friend.
The recipes he posts are his own. He would just feel kinda dirty posting somebody else’s work, even if properly rewritten and attributed. If he makes significant changes to somebody else’s recipe, he might post about that, but he’ll always mention who inspired him and probably plug that person’s book/blog/show to show his appreciation. He usually doesn’t make things four or five times and measure everything carefully to ensure his recipes are totally foolproof. He hopes they work. They did for him.
He’s not anti-commercial, he just prefers to keep his blog ad free because he’s really, really anal about making it look pretty. Except for the Google ads when you search. But he really wanted that search bar. If it’s any consolation, not only does he loathe himself for it, but Google Adsense cuts a check every time you earn $100. At his current rate, that first $100 check should arrive sometime around March of 2039. Of course, by then, he expects that Google will own him anyway and the payment will be moot.
He always likes it when actual readers write, even if he isn’t always so good about writing back promptly. See: kids, above. He’s thrilled and a little shocked that you care enough to take the time, but he really, really appreciates it and will write back as soon as he carves out a chunk of time to do so. When he does, don’t worry... this bio is the only time he’ll refer to himself in the third person. He promises.
He has a penchant for writing too damn much, but if you’re still reading, you already know that. So he’ll just say thanks for stopping by, and he hopes you dig the blog.