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David Samson, Published August 22 2011

Portraits: Derek Stevens

Every day is a culinary adventure for Derek Stevens, kitchen manager at Churches United for the Homeless in Moorhead. Stevens plans and prepares the menu for the meals served at the shelter. He grew up all over the country in a military family and has enjoyed cooking since he was 13. “I made meals for myself out of sheer necessity since my parents were not home, and I had no money, so I learned how to cook. It was then I figured the food industry was a job where I could always find work and never go hungry,” said Stevens. He went through the culinary program at the Art Institute of Seattle. He worked in a number of places out West before moving back to Fargo a little more than three years ago. “I enjoy the challenge of this job and giving the kitchen direction. There are a lot of things we have done to add a bit of variety, and the satisfaction from this job actually comes from the volunteers that come in to help. They like the cleanliness and organization of our kitchen.” And like the sign in the kitchen says, keep calm and use more bacon.