Cooking – An Occupation or Hobby?: An Interview with Tyler Peters

By: Johanna Marano April 9, 2017

Tyler Peters is chef at Parkhurst Dining at Delaware Valley University. He can be found at the Bravo station, where he cooks that night’s special, which is made to order for the students. I think I speak for a majority of the DelVal students when I say that he is our favorite. He is always so friendly and personable, making you feel more than just someone who is standing in line. Over my time here at DelVal, we have become friends and I wanted to sit down with him to learn a little more about what he loves to do.

How long have you been in the culinary industry?

I have been working in the industry for 10 years.

Why did you decide to become a chef? Did you always enjoy cooking?

I’ve just always loved it. I have been cooking since I was 8. I really never gave doing anything else a thought. I just always wanted to make food for other people.

Did you go to a culinary or vo-tech school?

I went to Middle Bucks Institute of Technology during high school for 3 years. (This is a vo-tech school and prepared him to go into the culinary industry upon completion of the program)

What do your daily task involve?

They involve prepping my own ingredients, cooking them, and then serving them to the students. My station is made to order, so the students pick the ingredients they want in their dish. I also need to clean and sanitize my station.

How long have you been working here at DelVal?

I have been here for 4 years.

Prior to working here, what other culinary experiences do you have?

I was at Moe’s Southwest Grill for 5 years. The last 3 years I worked there I was a manager. This was also right out of high school. During the first 2 years I was at Moe’s, I also worked at a bistro in Buckingham. Before all this, I had other smaller jobs in high school. I also worked at Wawa as a part of my vo-tech program.

What do you love most about cooking?

I love eating what I make. I also love seeing the reactions from other people when they eat what I made. I like knowing that a simple piece of food I make can change someone’s day. It’s just awesome! Cooking isn’t always a job to me; it’s more of a hobby since I enjoy it so much.

What do you not enjoy?

My biggest pet peeve in the kitchen is when people take short cuts, especially when they have the time to do what needs to be done.

What is your favorite meal or item to make?

*This question was super hard for him to answer. So I told him to pick his top 3 foods.* Overall I love making breakfast food. But my top 3 would be old fashion beef stew, French toast, and stir fry.

When cooking, do you usually follow a recipe or not?

Nope, I just wing it. I’ve never been one to follow a recipe. I don’t need one. I may use one every so often to get an idea or to be sure that I’m doing something the right way. But everything is usually on my own.

Is there anything you don’t like working with or making?

Not really. I mean ground turkey is weird and I just don’t like it. Also anything where the blue cheese and cottage cheese are visible is a no. Not that I wouldn’t work with them, but I don’t like them.

Would you ever consider opening your own restaurant?

Yes that is my dream and end goal. I’m actually trying to work on opening a food truck this summer with a friend.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you do?

It would definitely have to be something using my hands. I couldn’t do a desk job. Something like being a blacksmith or glass blower would be cool. Also I would like to one day learn how to make my own knives. (I asked him if he would then potential sell these. He said no they would just be for him because he is selfish.)

If you had the choice to go out to eat at a restaurant or stay in and cook, which would you choose? Why?

I would probably just stay in and cook. I don’t really like going out. What I made would depend on who I was with because I am a people pleaser, so I would make whatever they wanted. I just like seeing other people happy eating my food. But if I did go out, it would be at like a bistro or a steakhouse. I am very much a meat and potatoes kind of guy.

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