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Chef ditches kitchen to pursue woodcarving passion

A Tippecanoe County chef is taking a gamble on his passion.

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHR) – A Tippecanoe County chef is taking a gamble on his passion.

You might not even be able to call Gary Smith a chef anymore. He walked away from his job to try woodcutting.

"I think it’s more scary not to follow your passion and look for something that challenges you. Something that every day you got to figure out every day," said Smith.

For now, Smith is carving a giant gargoyle on Washington Street in Frankfort for free. Smith has been at it for a few weeks.

He’s already carved out a large owl on the same property.

"Everybody loves it because it’s art. it’s local art," said John Reid. "It takes a lot of talent to do something like that."

Reid allowed Smith to experiment with the sculptures on his property.

Smith says he grew tired of the grind and mountainy of working in the kitchen and wanted to try being his own boss.

"I traveled all over the US, won a few awards and worked in some of the top places," said Smith. "It’s not always about for me the pay. I think that if you are passionate and doing what you love in life that’s where it’s at."

Smith says he plans to make a few more sculptures for Reid, but hopes to turn this hobby into a paying career.