About The Chef: "Hey, That's Me!"
My Humble (Pie) Beginnings
Born and raised in a small town in rural Pennsylvania, my culinary options were somewhat limited. Then as a young scallion, I moved to California and my eyes were opened for the first time to worldly cuisines and exotic indigenous ingredients. From there cooking has been like living in a playground.
I had the privilege of attending the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, considered to be one of the finest culinary institutions in the country. I was mentored by a myriad of instructors led by Master Chef Jurgen Weise and celebrity chef Rhoda Yee in a competitive, inspiring, and professional setting.
For over than a decade, I've had the great pleasure of being a caterer, personal chef, and cooking instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area. I enjoy taking unique requests from my clients. It keeps my skill set sharp, my knives even sharper, as my repertoire keeps expanding. I derive great satisfaction from working hard and making people as happy as they can be.
Getting My Reps In-Shortly after graduating culinary school, I spent a year at the elite San Francisco restaurant, Jardiniere. Under Chef Traci DeJardins, I reinforced my skills in fine dining with her French and California seasonal menus. I worked in the Garde Manger station, which focused on canapes, fresh oysters, caviar plates, seafood salads, and artisan cheese platters.
My Culinary Heroes
How nice of you to ask! Bobby Flay and John Besh are two of my favorites, because I was insanely impressed by both of their restaurants (Mesa Grill in Vegas and Divina in New Orleans, respectively). There are few gimmicks, just straightforward and well executed food in surprisingly relaxed settings. I still haven't had better salmon then Flay's Honey Ancho Salmon with Mashed Black Beans or better wood fired pizzas than those from Besh's ovens.
Alton Brown is also insanely fun to watch and learn from. He's taken such a unique, blissfully nerdly approach to food. As a cooking instructor, I try to emulate his techniques (sprinkling in my own panache) to keep my students entertained. Unlike many TV chefs, Brown doesn't fall into the same tired speech patterns, you can tell his shows feature the dishes HE wants to feature, and not what some producer tells him would increase ratings.
And one more thing about me-I don't shy away from the limelight! While I'm catering your party, especially when requested, I enjoy talking to guests and introducing the dishes you're about to devour. When appropriate, I'll do so with a few concise, well timed jokes and a dash of razzle dazzle!