Beginning with foraging and wild crafting as a young child growing up in the Midwest, Chef Merlyn has spent a lifetime working with food and perfecting his craft. He began working in restaurants in Minnesota, earned a post high school cooking degree, and then headed off to experience the foods of the many regions of North America.
His travels took him from the Midwest, to California, the Colorado Rockies to Alaska, and the San Juan Islands to the Caribbean, finally settling in the Northwest. During these travels, he worked with chefs from various parts of the world, adding to his knowledge and expertise.
While living in Portland, Oregon, Merlyn was the Executive Chef at McCormick's Fish House in Beaverton, and later the Executive Chef at Jake's Famous Crawfish. From Portland, Chef Merlyn made his way to peaceful Northeast Oregon.
In La Grande, Chef Merlyn co-owned and operated Foley Station for 15 years, a three star "Northwest Best Places", fine dining restaurant.
Other culinary endeavors include Cooking Classes, La Grande Capeau Blanc Gourmet Club dinner events, Oregon Bounty and Harvest Dinners, Brew Master's Dinners and Wine Makers Dinners. He was also the chef of the Historical Titanic Dinner Event and Artifact Viewing in La Grande.
"The flavors I like to use originate from the far corners of the world, and with good reason. What is food without flavor? Every bite should make you wish for more. The foods I like to use are wholesome, local, regional, natural, organic, and healthy as are the meals I create. Each meal should be created with respect and responsibility to the land, the ocean, the farmer, the fisher, the food and the individual."