Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Rod comes from a large family and a long line of cooks with roots in the American South. His great-grandfather Arbeard was an Executive Chef, for the Milwaukee Road Pullman Trains during the age of Jim Crow. Rod's Parents exposed him and his older brother Tory to myriad styles of Cooking at a young age. It was not long before he discovered his gift and passion for feeding others.
After attending college to study music theory, he served 12 years in the U.S. Air Force. His service allowed him to travel the world with stops in Haiti, Germany, Iraq, Kuwait, and Qatar providing an opportunity to sample a diverse array of foods and flavors. As such, he developed an affinity for international cuisines. Upon his honorable discharge and after working a few years in the public and private sectors, he chose to enroll in the Institute for the Culinary Arts here in Omaha, NE. He then "earned his stripes" at some of Omaha's finest eateries.
Rod describes his culinary philosophy as "food with a fine dining aesthetic, but a 'blue collar' sensibility". He merges classic French technique with modernist methods and internationally inspired flavors and ideas. He believes that providing unique and creative food and memorable experiences should be the primary objective of any Chef de Cuisine. Whether at a James Beard nominated restaurant, or the local barbeque join. "Feed the people".