I thrived at The Kitchen—I loved the creative challenge—but my personal life continued to throw curveballs my way. After a short but mighty fight, I lost my mother to colon cancer in 2018. Less than a year later, my wife, Laura, was also diagnosed with cancer. While I cared for her during her recovery from chemotherapy and radiation, COVID-19 hit. As I faced all these life and death experiences, I connected even more deeply with food and its ability to help me nurture and care for those I love. Facing all these hardships caused me to distill what matters most: love, connection, growth, learning, overcoming fear, and giving back. I figured out how I wanted to move forward; I knew it was time to start Notre Ferme.