I have many years of professional culinary experience, and cooking creative menus with the best locally sourced ingredients is my passion. My childhood was spent in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where I helped my family raise goats, chickens, ducks, and rabbits. I have fond memories of collecting eggs, milking goats and feeding the animals – munching on fresh vegetables from the garden. My father was a renowned commercial and big-catch fisherman, working in the Pacific Northwest, Caribbean, Africa, and South America. Sometimes I tagged along on his Hemingway-like adventures, and from an early age, I grew, caught and prepared food, respecting the bounty that comes from land and sea. Childhood summers were spent picking blackberries, making jam, cobblers and pies – and fishing for king salmon on the Klamath and Rogue rivers. I learned to bake by watching my grandmother make pastry by hand. My grandfather, a trained chef, would cure, smoke and can his own catch. When I was 19, he gave me his 1920 copy of “The Epicurean” and his old-school carbon steel chef knives, and instructed me in the basics of skillful food preparation. My first professional experience was at Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria in Capitola was serving hundreds of customers every weekend. Since then I have gained a wealth of experience working with some of Santa Cruz County’s best restaurateurs and wineries such as Convivio, Gabriella Café, Kelly’s French Pastry, Pearl Alley Bistro, Hunter Hill, Lester Family, Poetic Cellars and Vino Tabi Winery, among others. In 2007 I opened Coastal Catering, specializing in weddings and large events with full service event planning. Our focus was to bring catering to the next level with only the best quality products and service – a hugely successful enterprise, serving exclusive clients such as Aston Martin and Carol Shelby during Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Searching for a larger kitchen to accommodate my ever-growing business, I realized that I prefer to concentrate my talents on being a personal chef. Working one on one with clients to create their perfect menus is where I truly shine. From multi-course dinners with five star service to casual farm-to-table feasts, I adore bringing your vision to life.
- Blue Ashes
- Cierra Hill