My fascination for the food service industry started about age 7. I would follow my grandmother around the kitchen as she would prepare Eastern European delicacies, my favorite of which was rugelach. She affectionately nicknamed me “Snoopy”.
I was eager to study cooking. A semester of cooking in Jr. High, and 4 years of food service classes in High School. Miss Fisher, my cooking instructor, persuaded me to follow my passion in the food service industry.
I continued my culinary education by enrolling at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. It was at the CIA that I naturally excelled in all food service disciplines. I was asked by my peers to be their Group Leader for three consecutive semesters, which gave me the opportunity to develop my leadership skills.
Upon graduation from the CIA with an Associate Degree, Chef Shoup, one of my chef mentors, suggested that I seek employment at a fine French restaurant as a way to further hone my culinary skills. I was soon employed at L’Orangerie, Hollywood’s restaurant for the rich and famous. For the next 18 months, I would work under the watchful eye of Chef Jean-Francois Meteigner, who apprenticed for three years at the Troisgros Restaurant, a 3-star Michelin restaurant in Loire, France.
Eager to expand my culinary repertoire, I got my foot in the door as prep cook at the newly-opened Lark Creek Inn, in Larkspur, California. Working under celebrity Chef Bradley Ogden, the highly acclaimed, farm-to-table restaurant, featured a massive wood burning oven. The vast majority of kitchen employees were culinary grads. Proving my worth, I rose to the position of Sous Chef.
After a 5-year stint at the Lark Creek Inn, I continued working in the field of fine dining at various restaurants, holding positions which ranged from Chef de Cuisine to Executive Chef.
Later in my career, I was hired as an Executive Chef at a healthcare facility. Realizing the importance of serving tasty and nutritious meals to patients, who are a captive audience, I trained my cooks in classical cooking techniques. This increased the quality of food, thus raising the patient satisfaction survey scores considerably, and bringing happiness to patients. While employed at this facility I earned my (CEC), Certified Executive Chef.
I have since worked in a handful of such health care facilities repeating the same process: training cooks in classical cooking techniques, thus raising patient satisfaction survey scores.
While working in health care food service and parenting my two sons, I earned a BS in Food and Beverage Management at the Art Institute of Austin. I graduated from AI with Honors, first in my class, and thus completed four years of college education with perfect attendance and zero tardies.