Kevin Noar determined he wanted to become a chef while sitting on the couch.
After being assaulted, the Solana Beach native spent weeks of his sophomore year of Torrey Pines High School at home watching television.
“I had a lot of time to kill, a full semester sitting on the couch with a wired jaw,” Noar said. “I watched a lot of Food Network, not going to lie.”
Following the attack in Del Mar, Noar said he had multiple surgeries to reconstruct his mouth. He suffered a broken jaw and four of his front teeth were knocked out.
“I was a young kid, there was a bad fight and I ended up getting in a bad situation,” Noar said. “I was just unlucky, in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“I was lucky enough I found something to take my mind off it. Something good came out of it for me.”
Noar worked as a busboy at the time, but it was watching the Food Network and reading cookbooks that sparked his interest in the food industry.
Now 27, Noar has about 10 years of culinary experience working in several hotels and restaurants. He earned a culinary degree from Scottsdale Culinary Institute shortly after graduating from Torrey Pines, and most recently worked as a chef at Joel Robuchon, a fine dining restaurant in Las Vegas that serves French cuisine.
“I think staying positive is huge,” Noar said. “You have to stay positive.”
Noar recently moved back to his hometown to continue his career. He hopes to eventually open his own European-style restaurant in San Diego and teach other aspiring chefs.
“Find what it is you want to do,” Noar said. “Find your passion and your desire, and pursue it.”