My great grandmother once told me, “every opportunity in life will teach you something new or help you get where you’re going.” She always spoke the truth and although her home spun honesty wasn’t always universally appreciated (that’s family for you), this life lesson has stuck with me.
Making the best out of new opportunities also seems to be a way of life for Master Carver and Model/Actor, Everton Ricketts. The Bridgeport, Connecticut resident (by way of Jamaica) has used his time at Boston Market to become one of the chain’s brightest employees while leveraging his skills to to take his acting career to the next level.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, I caught up with the turkey carving king to find out his tips on turning out the perfect bird and for using the job you have to further your passion.
Check out the exclusive interview below:
How did you get your start working for Boston Market?
A friend of mine was the manager and told me about the position. I went in and they hired me as a carver.
How did you become a Master Carver?
In 2013, Boston Market had this cool event—their first “chicken games” at our headquarters in Denver. Myself and six other people flew out there for two days and learned how to do a bunch of different positions. We prepped food and then they had a demonstration of us carving to see how efficient we are as carvers. They also tested our knowledge and gave us questions like “What’s the proper handling procedures for chicken?” “What’s the proper temperature for chicken when it comes in?” That’s how I become a master carver. There are only a handful of us for Boston Market.
You also act and model, is that your true passion?
I’m definitely passionate about acting and modeling. Acting is really cool because you get to bring a character to life based on what the writer has come up with and bring truth to that character and be able to portray that character, which is always a fun part to me. Modeling, you get to learn about color palettes and how different lighting can give different feel through image being captured.
How does your day job help you as an actor?
What’s great is I can use that training at Boston Market, when it comes to making people feel comfortable. You want to be able to talk with your guests when they come into the restaurant. You need to adorn yourself in that mentality of being professional, knowing your guests are the most important thing to your business and being completely focused on them having a good time. They may have had a good day or a bad day, but it’s your job to make sure they leave smiling because you gave them a great experience.
Where have we seen you? Where have you been featured?
I was in the Boston Market commercial in 2014 for the Parmesan Tuscan chicken. I was featured as the brand ambassador for our new campaign “All Good” at Boston Market this year. I was also featured in Vogue Italia online.
That’s awesome. Vogue is a pretty big deal. How do you balance your day job with your acting/modeling work?
It’s hard during Thanksgiving month to leave and go to rehearsals because I’m one of the key players at the restaurant and want to be able to help with what needs done. Planning is just the biggest key. I always get information about shows or acting gigs to the restaurant early so we can plan and I’m giving as much notice as possible. It’s so important to plan ahead in all aspects of the restaurant industry so I really follow that.
Any tips for others who may want to act/model as well?
If you want to be part of it, you have to have thick skin. You may go into a modeling audition where all the models will walk up and down in a row and then send you home without even saying anything. It can be tough, so you have to really figure out if this is what you want to do. There are a lot of actors out there and it may take time, so you have to be stick to it and be committed if it’s something you really love.
As a Master Carver, what are your top tips for carving a turkey this holiday season?
Make sure you have proper tools, such as a good sturdy tong and a knife. Make sure the knife is super sharp. That is the most important thing. If your knife isn’t sharp, you’re going to have a hard time getting those beautiful cuts.
What’s the biggest mistake people make when trying to carve a turkey?
They think it’s almost like cutting a ham or other boneless protein. Turkeys have many more bones, so you want to make sure you cut the sections apart properly so you can carve the meat more efficiently. You have to cut it up before you can properly carve it because otherwise, everything is going to be awkwardly positioned. If you’re trying to slice the breast while it’s still on the turkey, for instance, you’ve got the wings there in the way. The biggest key is to cut the turkey into sections first and then carve it.
What is your best Thanksgiving or holiday memory?
My best Thanksgiving was about three years ago, when the rest of my family came to the United States and were all together for Thanksgiving. My cousin made the most amazing deviled eggs I’ve ever had. After we had Thanksgiving dinner, we all went to the movies together. It was a great day with family and that meant so much to me. That’s definitely what we try to emphasize at Boston Market, too—letting us cook so you can have that family time.
– à bientôt
Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress