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Photo of Tom Knudsen

Tom Knudsen, Kitchen Manager · Monty's Blue Plate Diner

Tom started washing dishes in a small diner in Antioch, Il when he was 13 years old and has spent the last 30 years working in kitchens in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. “The chef at the first diner I worked at got tired of making me breakfast every morning so he started teaching me how to do it myself. After that I worked in a couple of fast food stores before I started working as a cook where my mother worked as a server in Rice Lake, WI. The owners had three stores and I bounced back-and-forth between two of them throughout high school.” After high school, Tom worked as a Sous Chef for an Italian restaurant and a Country Club before deciding to attend culinary school. During school he was the Kitchen Manager at a local pizza place. After school Tom held numerous Executive Chef positions before taking his skills and creativity to Food Fight. “The creation process for me is discovering what flavors complement each other. I like to take general ideas of dishes and create something unique from them. I like adding my own little touches using things I have learned over the years. I worked with and studied with some very great chefs. That experience has given me the ability to to combine all the great things that they taught me. I have a passion for people and I love to see them eat the dishes that I create. Food is comforting and can be very enjoyable. If I can make someone enjoy their day more because of the food they eat, that's my reward.” When Tom isn’t busy in the kitchen he likes to spend time with his wife and 5 children. He is a dedicated Chicago Bears and Chicago Cubs fan who also loves to play golf.