Walter's not yet a household name in the manner of television celebrity chefs, but he did win the Iron Chef America competition in a December 2006 episode, defeating frequent winner Cat Cora in cooking ostrich.
At Home in the Barn
The feeling is mutual. For instance, listen to his regard for "Miss Betty," whom he calls a mentor. "She has made my 11-year-tenure here wonderful," says Walter. "She has directed me through elegant cocktail parties and crazy football Saturday nights. This is something you don't learn in school; you don't get it from a book. You get it from working with a mentor. Regardless of how old we get, we can still learn from someone," he says.
"We're a huge restaurant, but it still has that ma-and-pa feel," Walter says. "It's important to me, because a lot of things are just so corporate and impersonal. When you work at a place where the owner is there working beside you, that helps you do your job better, manage your people better, and take care of your customers."
He credits owner Van Eure, who inherited the Angus Barn from her parents, with maintaining the atmosphere that has kept several employees at the restaurant for a quarter century and more. "I'm the rookie," Walter says.