I attended Western Culinary Institute in Portland, OR. A degree from that culinary school meant very little to the restaurants in the town of Portland, mostly because the school accepted anyone and everyone that applied. I knew I had to set myself apart, so I tried for an externship at the best restaurants in the country. I grew up outside of New York City, so that's where I started, knowing there are good restaurants there. I found that getting an externship at a...