The Dish on Chef Cory Reynolds
A passion for food and family inspired Cory Reynolds to study the culinary arts. A passion for Bok Tower Gardens led him to his job as our Blue Palmetto Café Chef.
Visiting his grandparents’ farm in Indiana was a great adventure for a city boy like Cory. His grandfather was involved in the local farmer’s market, which introduced him to great locally grown food. Cory was inspired to pursue his interest in cooking and serving fresh food, especially when his family would gather for big, traditional Sunday dinners. “I’ve always seen food as a medium for bringing families and friends together,” Cory explains.
Cory began a career with Hallmark and was very successful, but was not fulfilled. His family supported his decision to follow his passion for cooking while he attended the Chef’s Academy in Indianapolis. “With three girls at home, my wife and family made many sacrifices to support me, but loved it when I had three barbeque grills going or experimented with new recipes,” Cory remarks.
After receiving his associate’s degree, Cory started at the bottom and worked his way up to Garde Manger Chef under the direction of award-winning Chef David Tallent at Restaurant Tallent in Bloomington, Indiana. When he and his family moved to Central Florida, they appreciated the mission of the Gardens and became members, enjoying many family outings.
“We have begun to work with area farmers and growers,” Cory says excitedly as he admires his newly planted fresh herb garden. “Not only does buying locally stimulate the local economy, but there’s nothing like cooking with fresh fruit and produce to achieve the best taste and help people eat more sensibly.” The Café, already renowned for fresh, nutritious and healthy creations, now has more specialties than ever, from homemade fresh soups, to gourmet selections, to a new children’s menu.
“We’re also feeding hungry minds as we partner with Roosevelt Academy’s agri-science program and farmer’s market in Lake Wales,” Cory adds. “It’s encouraging to see their concern about improving food technology through their efforts in teaching and promoting naturally grown produce.”
by Nicole DeMaris Sharp, Administrative Assistant