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John T. Thornton - Ft Myers Insider

John T. Thornton - your Ft Myers Insider and food and wine junkie.

First and foremost, I love people; they are my constant inspiration in most everything I do. You see, I feel our history is being lost at an alarming rate. There is so much to learn and see in our great world. Of course, we are constantly creating new ways of combining and preparing foods, but we still only have the ingredients that were always here. I love to talk to people that have our history locked in their heads. The ways that were are the ways we build on today.

Ok a little about me before I was your Ft Myers Insider, I was born in southern Ohio and raised in central Ohio. My immediate and extended family was close. We did the “normal” things like birthdays, holidays, weddings and such. This is where I started learning what wonderful cooking and baking abounds. My mother, father, and grandmother contributed greatly to this. The ladies cooked everyday, from breakfast, to dinner. My father was a baker by profession. I can truthfully say that was a major part of my decision to go to culinary school. You see, I could cook a nice dinner ok, but when it came to baking, I was expert at making hockey pucks. I must state here it wasn’t my father’s fault, you see if one is in the bakery profession one works nights and sleeps days. Need I say more? I do miss him a lot but have great memories. Kudos to all you bakers out there.

Fast forward to Chicago. I was getting seriously burnt out from the computer business that I owned/partnered. It was the classic story, way too many hours, way too much money, and no time for fun. It was time for change. I was searching the web one evening with a glass or four of something and found it. CULINARY SCHOOL! What was I doing? Was I drunk or what? On top of all this, I decided right then and there I was going to culinary school. ……………

I enrolled at The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. I can do this. If I get up early, drive downtown, go to early classes, go straight to work from there, study at night, drive my girlfriend crazy, I can keep up. Of course, I also had to have the Le Cordon Bleu certificate if I was going to do this right.

Well I made it; in 14 months I completed Associate in Applied Science in Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts. Well if anything, it made me a better cook and now I can bake things that look like they are supposed to.

How did I end up in Southwest Florida you ask? Well, I had been visiting the area for many a year and I was getting tired of the long dreary northern winters. One winter day in Chicago, I was sitting at the computer and saw an advertisement for real estate in the area. I saw the beautiful homes on the canals and was immediately hooked. We called a real estate agent at 11:00 pm on a Friday night and bought a house on a canal with only the pictures on the Internet to go by. We were in Florida by the following Tuesday, saw the house and put a deposit on it. We closed on the house in March, sold the house and the businesses we had in Chicago, and moved to beautiful SW Florida in August.

As they say, the rest is history, I have been working as a chef, server, wine consultant, teacher, and learner ever since, and I love it! Now I will tackle being your Ft Myers Insider!

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