Where Will Your Passion Take You

Sedona's Chef David Schmidt

Shares His Inspiration

Three things I was inspired to remember:

Love what you do,

Surround yourself with people who are as passionate as you are, and continue to learn and grow.

If you've had the opportunity to see David at work and immersed in what he loves, just take the opportunity to dine at the Pump House Station Urban Eatery and Market. I love creating with people who are excited about what they do and David is certainly one of those people.

I'm always interested in what inspires artists to create and also what keeps their inspiration alive. So, I thought I'd share with you my interview with David.

"What drives me and keeps me going everyday as an artist? You need that creative passage everyday, you can't be mundane. My creative expression has to be on the plate.

Certain things I gravitate toward as a chef ; I enjoy the aspect of the local farmers market across the street and utilizing whatever ingredients are around. Foraging only happens a couple months a year but I really like that time of year as well; it shows us how we can use the bountiful and plentiful forest around us that gives us so much."

What inspires David,

"Seasons inspire me, weather inspires me, different growers I do use inspire me. They bring me things constantly. Changing dinner menus; that's where most of my passion is; in creating dinners. The sandwiches and paninis - we've got that down; I am currently working on menus, tweaking it and putting my stamp on it. People come because of what has been built just like our menu; it suits everyone and we receive constant praise "Can I tell the chef how great everything was?" - sometimes we're so busy and we're just pumping the food out; I'm wondering how everyone is so happy with the food.

I'm doing what I love and that's why I started doing this. I think being submerged in food has made my inspiration go through the roof.

I'm always thinking of concepts and ideas and this isn't all I want to do - I want to do some other things - I'm a young guy and I'm going to be around for a long time. I work 5 to 6 days a week and I enjoy teaching and showing other people how to cook, and showing them exactly what I do. Hopefully it bleeds into them. A lot of people have natural talent, and a lot of people you have to show over and over and over. I love to surround myself with those who are as passionate as

I am about the food, like myself, who are natural to the food; they get textures, they get flavors, acid, sweetness and being able to combine those is really special to the palate."

How did you get started,

"I was 16 or 17 and my mom asked what I might like to do for the rest of my life. I had an older brother and sister that were in school and still in school; one on and off for 6 -7 years and the other 5 years, and I said I don't know I want to do that. I had the opportunity to have get a scholarship for golfing with the University of Minnesota or Madison that I passed up. And my mom said you like cooking and I said yes and so she started looking at culinary schools. She kind of pushed me in that direction and today I thank her for that.

I've had an awesome career so far and it's only going to get better. So I have my mom as an inspiration and my grandma, who was an inspiration; she was always in the kitchen."