Chef Noah Zamler, currently the chef at The Press Room in West Loop, joins us on this episode of TFOCB Podcast.
Noah grew up in Southeastern Michigan in a small town called Beverly Hills. The youngest of three children in a Jewish and Italian family, Noah’s exposure to cooking and food came at an early age.
“That passion really just came from my family. On one side it's a big Jewish family and on the other side, it's a big Italian family.
So everything centered around cooking and eating. My earliest memories are being in my grandma's kitchen and helping her make cannelloni or holding out pasta to dry on my arms.”
When Noah was only 11 years-old, his father passed away. Two years leading up to his passing, his father went blind and Noah and his siblings needed to grow up quickly. As he puts it, it was his “first stint” at making food for other people. Seeing what his family was going through, he wanted to find something he could do to ease the burden on everyone else.
“I thought to myself, what's one thing that I can do that would take something off of everyone's plate? So I started making school lunches for my brother and sister.”
By the time he was 14, he needed a job so he showed up at a restaurant to demand one.
“You're going to give me a job. And they said, well, you're 14. You're not going to work here. And I said, well, I'll come into work tomorrow and if I don't do a good job, then you can tell me and I'll be out of my way. And I guess I did a good enough job that they let me keep coming back.”
“What Detroit has that Chicago doesn't, is that there's so much open land in the city limits. So what started to happen is these urban farmers would come and buy up city lots and start farms. So the farm to table concept in the city became this, ‘you're not even going outside of the city, you were going down the street.’”
It resonated with him how they were building communities of different chefs and different restaurants along with the farmers. It’s become a passion of his especially as he sees so many supply chain issues in the restaurant industry,
Listen to this episode of the TFOCB Podcast to hear more about Noah’s story and his journey in the restaurant industry.