When the boss gets hungry, what’s gonna be on the plate?
Part newsroom, part soundstage and part historical museum, Mercury Studios is home to Glenn Beck’s companies, Mercury Radio Arts and TheBlaze. Every position in this fast-paced environment is important to keep things running smoothly. But one role that’s often overlooked is that of Glenn’s personal chef.
What is it like to be responsible for satisfying the culinary cravings of Mr. Beck himself? We decided to find out. (We may have bitten off more than we could chew.)
Here is his story, in his own words.
Matthew Shelton, Glenn’s Personal Chef
I see a lot of [Glenn] and I’m around him a lot. I see what he’s trying to do and what he has done. And it’s unbelievable. And I wish, somehow, we could capture that. I challenge any person on this planet to sit down with him and just eat, have a meal, eat a bowl of cereal. And you will like him. Even if you hate his guts.
Ten years ago, that wouldn’t have been the case. But today, absolutely. We travel all over the country with him. I see him meet these people who literally despise him walking into the place. And they always go, “Got to be honest with you, Glenn, I thought I hated your guts, but you make a lot of sense.”
I got here because of really good timing and a level of trust that was kind of naturally there. Glenn had some health issues come up and he needed somebody that was 24/7 and had more of a relationship than just a random person would have. So, he actually had my father [Robert Shelton, who previously filled in temporarily as Glenn’s chef] look at some of the resumes that were submitted to be his chef and they were crazy. They were asking for gigantic salaries and crazy vacation time, all this stuff. And, Glenn just felt uncomfortable with all of it.
And one day he called me up and said, “Hey, would you ever want to be my chef?” And I wasn’t a trained chef at the time. And, I was like, “Um, I have no idea. What does that entail?” And he basically said, “You know, travel with me. I have a really strict diet” — there were crazy limitations on what he could and couldn’t eat — and I said, “Sure.”
And so, we did a three-month test period and I’m in his home, I’m with his wife and kids, and we travel together. I go up to their family ranch with them for three weeks at a time. It’s a very intimate, close relationship which has grown even stronger over the years. But I wasn’t very qualified for it and then it was — ok, well, learn as you go. So, I went to nutrition school for eight months and really learned. You know, I knew how to make chicken taste good, but I didn’t know the point of why it was good for you and how to prepare it with certain things to make it better.
I have a very unique look on food and my career. It’s way more than just a job. I really enjoy it.
It’s quite exciting, because now I get compliments and I’m like, “Man, I get to cook for some really cool people.” My biggest compliment is a completely clean plate. You don’t have to tell me anything. But if the plates completely empty, I don’t care how hungry you are. If something doesn’t taste good, you’re not gonna eat it.
So, I see that now and I’m like, man I’m only 30. And my father is mid-50s and he is still learning. It’s pretty impressive.
It’s funny, because my mom is Canadian and my dad is from the South. So, it’s like two drastically different cuisines growing up. And, my dad’s mom, when we were kids, every Christmas morning would make biscuits and gravy from scratch. And it’s my favorite meal. It’s so good. We’d have a huge portion of biscuits and gravy. It was amazing.
So, as I got older, she got dementia. And so, one Christmas the biscuits and gravy weren’t being made properly. And we were like, Grandma, what’d you just put in there? So, my father pulled me aside and said, “Learn how to make biscuits and gravy.” So now, every Christmas, I make biscuits and gravy from scratch. And it’s tradition. And it’s so bad for you, but so unbelievably delicious that it doesn’t matter.
Quality of life, you know what I mean? Do an extra sit-up. I’m all about quality of life.
People talk about, you know, eating nutritious, and I wholeheartedly back that. It’s just, why not pro-long your life for as long as you can? Trust me, I love cheeseburgers and I still eat cheeseburgers. But I exercise to counteract that. I always preach to people — quality of life. Eat the pizza! Pizza is unbelievable, right? Make sure you do something to balance that out.
What About You?
If you have a story about an experience connected to Mercury Studios or how Glenn has impacted your life, please submit your story in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!
Photo by Fabrizio Magoni on Unsplash