Growing up in Miami during the early 1980's, the latin flare and culture began to shape Russell's future culinary style at a young age. Nights of soul and fun, latin music, large dinner parties complimented by many plates of food and lavish hors d'oeurves full of flavors bright with color combined with the hustle and bustle of the kitchen preparing for the night festivities left a a permeant impression. Throughout Russell's youth, cooking played a big part in his life whether it was at home preparing meals with his mother to working in a diner preparing soul food for hungry guests with salivating mouths. In his early twenties, Russell moved to Steamboat Colorado to apprentice at the Cotten Wood Grill and Three Peaks Grill under the leadership of Acclaimed Chef Owners Peter Lautner and Michael Fragola while taking classes at Colorado Mountain College. After receiving his American Culinary Federation Sous Chef Certification and Hospitality Management Certification, Russell worked as the Sous Chef at Steamboat Yacht Club where he got his first glimpse into the life as a caterer. Russell was intrigued by the idea of preparing amazing food in large numbers as it challenged him to create complex dishes and be able to serve them in large numbers and have them all be exactly the same fresh and tasty food with inviting presence on the plate. After a couple of years at the Steamboat Yacht Club, Russell took a job with The Pines Catering as the Sous Chef where he delved into all aspects of the catering business from the front of house to the back of house. After a couple of years at The Pines, the business was sold and Russell moved on to work with a Chef from a prior job, Paul Huddleson, as his Executive Sous Chef for Catering for Center Plate at Folsom Field CU. In 2009, Russell met Chef Dedric McGhee. Dedric's in-depth of knowledge of southern soul food and latin cuisine with major french overtones in french technic inspired Russell, and for the next five years he worked with Dedric as his Executive Sous Chef for Millennium Hotels. In 2014 Russell was offered a position as Catering and Special Event Chef for The Club at Las Campanas, a five star platinum club in Sante Fe, New Mexico. At the Club at Las Campanas, he ran a 100% scratch kitchen where he entertained many a colorful guest. Russell recently married his long time best friend, Sandria, and they are both looking forward to moving back to Colorado. Russell is very excited to help play a part of the growth of the catering operation at UCCS. Russell enjoys outdoor recreation, barbecuing, collecting vinyl records and the Denver Broncos!