Degrees and Certifications:
Mr. Ian Gannon
I was born in Jacksonville, NC when I was very young. My father was in the Marine Corps, so we moved around a lot when I was little (every 4 years to be exact) and I also spent some time without my Father when he was deployed during Desert Storm/Desert Shield and Okinawa, Japan. I got used to spending time with my mother, which meant a lot of time in the kitchen cooking for the family. I have two brothers and one sister so there was a lot on my mothers plate during those tough years.
I thought at a young age, sometime around my middle school years, that I really wanted to become a teacher. It was one of those dreams that I always had in the back of my mind, but never pursued. When I got a little older, my mindset had shifted, and I had decided that being in the kitchen is what really makes me happy. I spent a lot of time visiting culinary schools like Johnson and Wales, and was underwhelmed by my visits. I didn't like what I was seeing at the schools and started to doubt what I knew in my mind to be true. As my high school career came to a close, I made a decision to go to business school at Campbell University in North Carolina. While I was there, I knew I made the wrong choice and spent most of my time finding the right culinary school for me. That school was the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT.
What I really liked about NECI was that it alternated 6 month residency terms with 6 month internships that we, the students, could choose where we wanted to go. I spent some time working in restaurant and catering kitchens all over the country including New Hampshire, Vermont, North Carolina, and Denver before finally making a stop in Charleston, SC where I worked at Magnolia's downtown. These kitchens provided some very extensive experience that I carry with me still today.
After I realized I couldn't live on a cook's salary downtown, I made a move to the North Charleston Convention Center where I was in charge of a banquet team cooking meals for up to 4000 people at once! However awesome that was, it came with a toll and that toll was often 16 hour workdays in grueling conditions. When I heard about a culinary arts teaching position open at FDHS in 2016, I couldn't help but jump on the opportunity to finally achieve a dream I had since I was in middle school. That brings me to where I am today, working with students and teaching them what I'm truly passionate about.