August 31, 2015
FOCUS: 40 UNDER FORTY

Cornelius Rogers

Executive Chef de Cuisine, Niche Hospitality Group, Worcester

Birthplace: Worcester
Residence: Worcester
High school: St. John's High School, Shrewsbury

Career highlights: Opening the Niche Hospitality Group's Test Kitchen, winning Worcester's Best Chef competition, cooking a five-course meal at the James Beard House, and being featured in Edible Boston with my family.

Community involvement: Sharing the test kitchen with local agencies like Girls Inc. of Worcester, bolstering the local farm to table movement by helping create a food hub for Central Massachusetts, and cooking for a local farmer dinner series.

Ultimate career goal: To continue to work hard and try to be a good role model for my children.

Non-relatives you admire most: The chefs and restaurateurs I've worked with and for over the years, who have taught me that, along with hard work and dedication to the craft, hospitality is a key to success.

Favorite book: "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!" by Mo Willems

Hidden talents: Transforming into a Disney prince at the whim of my daughter, and doing any and all tasks while carrying my son on my shoulders.

"By the time I turn 50, I'd like to … feel I've been a part of a developing Worcester. There is so much on the horizon for this city, and a lot of young people like us who care, who have passion and a voice and are willing to put the work in to make positive change."

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