Looks can be deceiving. Sometimes there is more under the surface than what meets the eye. Take Kevin Huntspon in the Bureau of Environmental Health in the City of St. Louis Department of Health (DOH) for example. Day to day, Huntspon serves the city as a Food Establishment Inspector, but in his past career, he excelled as an executive chef for many fine establishments across the country.
Huntspon got his start in the culinary arts in high school. While the culinary arts may not have been the initial motivator for Huntspon to take that first home economics class in high school, he quickly latched on to the "joys of cooking" and excelled in the kitchen. As a result, he was afforded an opportunity to participate in a cooperative program where he attended school part of the day and worked in food service establishments for the remainder. Busing tables and washing dishes wasn't always the most exciting work, but it provided Huntspon an opportunity to see how restaurants worked behind the scenes as he continued to hone his cooking skills in class.
After high school, Huntspon began his progression to
executive chef. He started as a
breakfast cook at Lane College
After graduating, Huntspon received a phenomenal offer. He was invited to apprentice with noted Chef
Paul Bocuse in Leone,
Huntspon credits his background with helping him to be successful in his current job. He says it helps him to "understand people better and the commitments required to achieve the compliance that protects the public. "It also helps him to provide a 'practical approach' to restaurant management. According to Huntspon, "while sanitation is a top priority, so is creativity."
Huntspon still gets the opportunity to be creative and use his culinary skills. Besides cooking for an occasional family, work or community function, he also consults with chefs in different food service environments. This gives him exposure to "cutting edge food innovations" as well as food service sanitation. He is also exploring new aspects of food and nutrition through consulting with Feed Your Vitality, a program focused on using the anti-inflammatory properties of foods to enhance health.
City of St. Louis
Department of Health