DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A local chef is setting out on a new journey to fuel his drive for creativity.

Don Warfe is well known throughout the Dayton restaurant scene and after spending years in the kitchen, he now spends countless hours in the garage learning how to design and build his own electric guitars. After restoring an old guitar for his wife as a gift, he decided to take things a step further and start building guitars from scratch.

“I started with an American standard, classic guitar, a Telecaster. It has a flat body so there’s not a lot of contours, so I just took a stab at it,” said Warfe.

Scouring the internet for resources and information, Don learned the process on his own and began creating guitars for other people. Don says he’s not afraid to make a few mistakes along the way.

“I had a couple things that were wrong at first and I was like, give it back to me, just like in the restaurant industry if you get it wrong, please send it back. Make sure you do it right,” said Warfe.

Don says he’s dedicated to mastering the craft and grateful to his wife whose hard work allowed him to pursue a passion.

“He worked all those long hours as a chef and had no time off so I could pursue my dream of getting an MBA and I was a stay-at-home parent during that time. Once I got that degree we got to swap. Now he has two full-time jobs. He’s a stay-at-home dad and he gets to work on guitars which is his passion. Being a dad, that’s obviously his passion too!” said Mindy Becker, Don’s wife.

As a chef, Don says it was always important to him to source ingredients from local vendors. He says he wants to do the same sort of thing with this venture and build guitars using parts made locally.

“I want to get to the next thing which is sell my own stuff, build my own brand, get out there and compete, just listen to what musicians want and try to give them what they need,” said Warfe.