SAINT PAUL, Minnesota (KARE) --No one makes reservations at a Salvation Army soup kitchen, but at the Army's eastside service center on Payne Avenue, it might be time.

With a craftsman's eye, Jeff Ansorge toils over pan-seared lemon parmesan salmon.

"It adds caramelization to the salmon," Ansorge explains, "and it gives it a better flavor profile."

Check the sign again. Yep, this is the Salvation Army, but Ansorge is definitely not the typical Salvation Army cook.

This time last year, Ansorge was at the top of his profession. He was a graduate of a prestigious culinary school and had raised through the ranks to become executive chef at one of Minnesota's finest restaurants - the Capital Grille.

But, a few months later, it's all gone -- and by Ansorge's own doing.

"His application came in and it was almost too good to be true," says Capt. John Joyner, who posted the ad for a cook last summer.

Joyner had doubts Ansorge was seriously interested, "because he's so overqualified."

But soon the new cook was re-equipping the kitchen with brazing pans and French knives, as he cleared space in the cooler for items definitely not associated with soup kitchens.

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