Trevor Williams distills the best of American cookery for Kraft Foodservice. Born and raised among the farmlands of Wisconsin, he calls himself a "die-hard American chef." He infuses that culinary passion into his work with the Kraft Culinary Team. "I try to translate the lexicon of American cooking for Kraft, putting the spotlight on seasonal ingredients and regional cooking traditions," says Chef Williams. Trained at Kendall College in Chicago and then brought up through the ranks of some of that city's best professional kitchens, he brings skill, soul and wit to his work with Kraft Foodservice. Inspired by this country's culinary culture and heritage, recent recipe successes include Chicken Wings glazed with Kraft Pitmaster Lee Ann Whippen's Root Beer BBQ Sauce and Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Kraft Pitmaster Rod Gray's Spicy Georgia BBQ Sauce & Grilled Peach Relish.
Home: Chicago, Illinois
Education: Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, Chicago
Employment: I started moonlighting with the Kraft Culinary Team in 2011. I came on board full time in March 2013. Previously, I was chef de partie at Tony Mantuano's Terzo Piano.
1st job in foodservice: Believe it or not, I was hired as a kitchen manager at a deli in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Baptism by fire, really. By day we were a traditional deli and by night we ran a prix-fixe menu featuring American regional food.
Greatest accomplishments: I think keeping up my passion for food every single day is the thing I'm most proud of; I don't think I'm going to burn out. I'm still head over heels in love with food and cooking.
Favorite dish to cook at home: I'm really into farm-driven food, so I try to cook whatever the market gives me. I like grilling and roasting at home because it keeps the flavors honest.
Favorite cookbook: It's got to be Jeremiah Tower's New American Classics (Harper & Row, 1986). He's the godfather of American cooking. He didn't have a culinary degree, but he took in the landscape of the United States and translated it onto the plate.
Most rewarding part of my job: The team. The culinary team here at Kraft shares a collective passion, and I love nothing more than being surrounded by people who know what they're doing and are passionate about it.
The two or three people from history (living or dead) with whom I would most like to have dinner: First and foremost, I would like to cook for my mom, because I never got the chance to cook for her. I'd also like to cook for Jeremiah Tower and David Lynch.
Sound byte: "I don't like gourmet cooking or 'this' cooking or 'that' cooking. I like good cooking." —James Beard
Favorite recipe recently developed for Kraft Foodservice:
I have a great affinity for American barbecue—it's one of the only indigenous foods here. This Pan-roasted Salmon with Kraft Pitmaster Rod Gray's Sweet Cola BBQ Sauce and Pickled Watermelon Rind is one of my favorites. It's approachable but contemporary, with really great flavors.