Andrew Dornenburg’s path to success in the culinary world has been anything but linear. Now an award-winning chef and co-author of numerous books, Dornenburg is a dyslexic whose learning difference has served as a blessing in disguise. His passion, creativity, free-thinking, and innovation are all common traits possessed by those with dyslexia and show how this has helped him get to where he is today.
Growing up in the 60s and 70s, Dornenburg’s dyslexia was undiagnosed. It wasn’t until he was a junior in college that a professor suggested he get tested for dyslexia. This professor was impressed by his extraordinary writing capabilities, but noticed that he was terrible with spelling. This had been a trend all his life; he excelled in social studies but struggled with penmanship, spelling, and math. As a child and growing up, Dornenburg had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. His first job was at age 15 at a McDonald’s, and from there he held numerous sales jobs as well as odds and ends jobs throughout his young adult life. He ended up working in the dish room at a restaurant and it was this job that would transform his life. Noticing how much he enjoyed spending time in the kitchen, Dornenburg inquired about culinary school to which the head chef took him under his wing to teach him. Due to this, he never finished college, but instead spent the majority of his time in the kitchen learning how to cook and working his way up the culinary ladder. Now, Dornenburg is the co-author with wife Karen Page of 5 best-selling culinary books: Becoming a Chef, Culinary Artistry, Dining Out, Chef’s Night Out, and The New American Chef. Despite his vast success, Dornenburg still gets nervous when writing long letters due to his problems with spelling. However, he remains optimistic about his learning difference and has said, “As I tell other dyslexics, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to be perfect to be great.”
Read more about the award-winning books written by Andrew and his wife on their website. Also, visit this page to see more success stories from authors.