Andrew Grygus

Andrew was born in the spring of 1943 in Greenwich Village, New York, to Herman Grygus, a musician, engineer and wannabe farmer; and Isobel Burzycki, a farm girl. The family soon moved to Pennsylvania, then to a small semi-abandoned farm in the back woods of New Jersey. Andrew received his entire primary education in the four room school in the nearby hamlet of Bloomsbury.

During these early years Andrew showed a great interest in classical literature, but, alas, the Russians launched Sputnik, and he was drafted to become a scientist. Despite an intense interest in things scientific, he was not at all compatible with the rigor and specialization required of a successful scientist, a fact completely disregarded by the education system.

Andrew finished middle school and high school in Burbank California, then went on to some college, until he and organized education finally parted on grounds of irreconcilable differences.

For the next 20 years Andrew worked as a manufacturing engineer, cost estimator, production planner and in audit defense, but at home he was studying food and cooking, as well as Shamanism, Tibetan Buddhism and ceremonial magic. During this period he became a vegetarian — OK, substantially a vegetarian, though certainly never an “ethical vegetarian”. This lasted for about 10 years until he became intensely interested in ethnic cuisines and food research.

In the mid-1980s the aerospace industry in California collapsed, but Andrew had already founded Automation Access, the semi-successful computer consulting business he runs to this day. Being unmarried and without children he was able to continue his study of food on the side, and amassed an impressive collection of ethnic and international cookbooks.

In recent years he has been working intensively on the Clove Garden site as the foundation for a future business involving food and cooking — against the inevitable day when he has to bail out of the consulting business.