Not Your Average Joel

By: Stefanie Dion Jones

Three things instantly become clear when you meet Joel Gamoran ’07 (CLAS), resident chef at high-end cookware retailer Sur La Table: This guy loves food. This guy loves people. And this guy is poised for something very big.

Find him a place to cook – whether it’s a makeshift kitchen in the middle of a misty apple orchard or a hot plate in a dorm room – and inevitably, Gamoran will find a way to work his magic. In fact, the 27-year-old UConn alum is as relaxed leading gourmet cooking classes for discriminating New Yorkers as he is whipping up dishes before millions of viewers on NBC’s “Today” show.

UConn alumni Chef Joel Gamoran '07 (CLAS) on his time spent at UConn, his inspirations and favorites, and more.

UConn alumni Chef Joel Gamoran ’07 (CLAS) on his time spent at UConn, his inspirations and favorites, and more.

Combine all of that with his sparkling personality, bright smile, and effortless gift of gab, and – voilà! – you have a star in the making.

“I really, really, really want to inspire people and get them excited about food,” says Gamoran, who in 2011 returned to the East Coast, relocating from Sur La Table’s headquarters in his native Seattle to the company’s location in the Big Apple. “I would love to share that with the world.”

He is well on his way to doing exactly that. Teaching cooking classes at Sur La Table and appearing in its bevy of online product videos, Gamoran is also making media appearances locally and nationally – cooking things up on live TV, from the “Today” show to “New York Live.”

In addition, he has co-created and starred not only in a film nominated for a 2012 NYC Food Film Festival Award, but also in a beautifully produced, documentary-style Web series known as “Humbly Northwest,” which recently sold to a production company and could yet be purchased by a network.

For the high-energy chef, who dreams of having a cooking show of his own by the time he reaches 30, this is simply all in a day’s work – and he can’t get enough of it. As he good-naturedly asserts, “That’s what you do when you have a dream, right?”

Read more at UConn Today.

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