Pared Pro-file: Alex Ripley
I began my career in the 7th grade in my hometown of Warsaw, Virginia. I learned that the tech school associated with my school district offered a culinary class but soon realized that I needed to be a few years older to enroll in the class in high school. Some of my earliest memories as a kid were the thoughts of becoming a chef, which were nurtured by Saturday mornings spent in front of the TV, not to watch cartoons but to tune into PBS and watch the cooking shows. Fast forward a few years and I was enrolled in the culinary class and graduated as the top student.
As high school ended, I was ready to begin the next chapter in my culinary life so I packed up my car and headed to Johnson and Wales University located in Norfolk, Virginia. As an aspiring chef-to-be, I achieved Deans List and a James Beard Award before my two years were up. Not bad for a kid from a small town in Virginia. From there I spent the better part of 10 years traveling along the east coast, Charleston, South Carolina, Raleigh, North Carolina, Richmond and Virginia Beach, Virginia, Ocean City, Maryland, and finally Washington DC.
In Washington D.C., I became the Executive Chef for Lavagna located on Capitol Hill just a few blocks away from The White House. Coincidentally, I also met my wife Ruby who was the floor manager at Lavagna as well. After several years, Ruby and I decided that we were going to pick up everything and make the trek across the United States to California where she was originally from. A few weeks, almost 3,000 miles, one cat and lots of fast food later we finally arrived on the west coast.
The past 5 years of my life have been a whirlwind of success and happiness thanks to hard work and a wonderful wife. I’ve won awards, been a featured chef on TV, cooked for thousands and thousands of people, and achieved my long term dream of becoming an Executive Chef in San Francisco.
Thanks to Pared I was able to spend so much more time with my family, make my own schedule, and still make enough money to support my family. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not become a part of their awesome network.
Two years ago, I became a father for the first time and last May I was blessed with another child. At this point in my life I decided that I needed to devote more time to my family and my culinary career needed to be put on the back burner for a while. Thanks to Pared I was able to spend so much more time with my family, make my own schedule, and still make enough money to support my family. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not become a part of their awesome network. Thank you for everything!