NYC
11/11/2011 05:00 pm ET | Updated Jan 11, 2012

Occupy Wall Street, Faces Of Zuccotti Park: The Chef (VIDEO)

This story is part of a series that profiles the protesters at Occupy Wall Street.

Sean Dolan, 48, has worked as a chef in a variety of restaurants over the last 30 years, most of them in Providence, R.I. While he's done everything from line to prep to standard short-order cooking, his favorite is Italian -- "tossing saute pans and cooking calamari and veal saltimbocca and chicken parmesan," he said.

But when he was fired from his most recent job in early October, instead of applying for other jobs, Dolan hopped a train to New York City and came straight to Zuccotti Park to join the protesters. He'd heard about the Occupy protest on NPR -- he doesn't read print media much anymore, except for the Providence Phoenix -- and wanted to help out anyway he could.

Within half an hour of arriving, he was put to work at Occupy Wall Street's kitchen, serving free hot meals to the people who are taking a stand against corporate privilege in this small city park in lower Manhattan.

"The minute I got here, it was like this door opened," Dolan said. "All of a sudden I was a part of something bigger than myself for the first time in my life. And the passion came back."

Dolan lives with his wife, Patricia, in his hometown of Bellingham, Mass., and spends four or five days a week working in the kitchen at Zuccotti Park, then returns to Massachusetts to recharge. "I find it necessary to recuperate," he said. "Some of the people living down here ... you can see the toll it takes on them."

But Dolan is no wimp. "I plan to keep coming down here every week as long as I'm physically able," he said. "I want to see some results. The awareness issue is through the roof right now. But I want to see a general strike. ... Something that grabs the world by the nuts and says, 'Yeah!'"

Camera by Adam Kaufman, editing by Hunter Stuart