Chef Bruce Dillon Was a Finance Major Until Mayo Ignited a Passion for the Kitchen

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Some chefs are born with a spatula in their tiny little fists, destined for a life behind the stove, while others take a more twisty, turny path. Snoqualmie Casino's Bruce Dillon was on track for a career in finance when he took a major detour. Guess what changed his course? A fascination with making mayo.

For more from the man who created a $38 burger for Terra Vista, read part one of this week's Grillaxin.

SW: Do you remember the meal that inspired you to be a chef?

Dillon: It wasn't any one particular meal per se, but actually the process of making mayonnaise that sparked my interest. I was fascinated by the fact that blending a few ingredients together in a precise sequence could produce something so different from the sum of its components.

What's your background/training?

I actually began as a finance major at the University of South Florida in Tampa, gaining knowledge that would later come in handy for the budgetary side of running kitchens and restaurant operations. I went on to study cuisine at the Culinary School of Washington, D.C., with additional coursework in the art of French cuisine at L'Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, Md.

You teach cooking classes. What do your students hunger to learn?

I am actually not teaching at this time.

In our food-obsessed world, does it still surprise you to meet people who don't know how to cook?

Yes! It never ceases to amaze me, especially because we live in a world populated by a proliferation of food channels and cooking shows.

What are some of your favorite places to eat in and around Seattle?

I'd have to say Jae's Asian Bistro in Madison Park and Palace Kitchen.

Check back for part three of this week's Grillaxin for a recipe from chef Bruce Dillon.

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