Washington State Chef's
Member Spotlight - August 2011
I spent a great deal of time as a kid learning to cook from my mother. As a family we sat down around a table to eat at least twice a day. My fondest memories of my childhood were the meals we shared together at the table. My first job was as a dishwasher in a local Mexican Food restaurant (Glendito’s) in Prescott Valley, AZ. I have had multiple part-time food jobs throughout my life: fast-food, pizza, barista, grocery, and beer merchandising.
In my early 20’s, I went to college to become a school teacher. I have a BA degree in Elementary Education and an MA degree in Educational Administration from Arizona State University. I have 10 years teaching experience with children and adults in both Arizona and Washington. In 2009 I began attending Renton Technical College’s Culinary Arts Program. Under the direction and inspiration of Chef John Fisher and Chef Michael McBride I made a new beginning in the world of food. While I was in school I volunteered for numerous American Culinary Federation sponsored events, RTC Events, competed in ACF Category K competitions, and I was a member of an award-winning culinary team that went all the way to New Mexico for Regional competition in 2010. I was the first recipient of the Darrell Anderson Scholarship Award. I completed my culinary education with an internship at Rover’s of Seattle. I graduated with honors in August of 2010.
I currently work for No Junk Inc. as Chief of Operations. We are a Seattle-based contract catering group for private schools. No Junk Inc. is a healthy from-scratch approach to student lunch. We are constantly striving to prepare healthy meals for students that are made from the freshest ingredients available. My job entails cooking, hiring, training, managing, sales, and customer service. We are currently expanding our business in the Seattle area.
Additionally, I am the owner and operator of It’s Personal Catering and Chef Services. My inspiration for starting this company came from my childhood and the sharing of a meal with family around a table. I believe that gathering together around good food is an essential, joyous part of life. I love creating that experience for others. I believe that the food should be delicious, alluring, and as memorable as the occasion itself. I custom-design each menu based on the customer’s wants and needs. I strive to create the food my customers love to eat. I want for each one of my customers to have a personalized event. I take care of the planning shopping, cooking, serving, and cleanup allowing my customer to enjoy their guests. I have cooked for people in their homes for private multi-course dinners, private holiday parties, office open house events, birthday parties, anniversaries, wedding receptions, and company barbeques. I work mostly in King County, but have worked in Thurston and Clallam Counties.
This last winter I taught two evening culinary courses at Renton Technical College, Appetizers and Basic Cooking Methodologies, and I have plans to do this in the Fall. Utilizing my teaching experience and education with the love of food is a very comfortable fit for me. I am a member of the American Culinary Federation and It is my intention to work towards my ACF certifications in the very near future.
View his favorite recipe below…
CHICKEN SAUTÉ WITH SHALLOT, GARLIC AND THYME
Yield: Serves 6
- Chicken thighs (deboned) – 6
- Salt and pepper – TT
- Flour – enough to dredge the chicken
- Butter – 1 fl. oz
- Shallot (minced) – 1 oz
- Garlic (chopped) – 4 cloves
- Dry White Wine – 4 fl. oz
- Chicken Stock – 4 fl. oz
- Fresh Thyme (de-stemmed) – ½ Tbsp.
- Remove any excess fat from thighs. Leave skin on.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the thighs in flour.
- Sauté the thighs in the butter and brown them. When they are cooked through remove them from the sauté pan and hold in a warm place.
- Add shallot and garlic to sauté’ pan and heat them both until they become slightly translucent.
- Deglaze the pan with wine.
- Add chicken stock and reduce the sauce. Add fresh thyme just before desired consistency is attained.
- Serve with Sauce.
- I enjoy this dish with sautéed asparagus and herbed risotto.