Work Experience

Zipongo

San Francisco, CA 2015 to present

Director of Culinary Innovation for this digital health company focusing on 'Eating Well Made Simple.' Supporting the Google Food Team and their various culinary operations with their global focus on moving all 200+ Café menus to be more plant-forward.

  • Objectives: Making positive change in the menu-planning processes, behaviors of chefs and cooks, and types of food being procured and served.
  • Support vendor partners (i.e. chefs and nutritionists) with the development of outcome-enabling menus.
  • Develop data-driven insights through Zipongo’s analytics and reporting capabilities (i.e. menu, food preference and health data)
  • Maximize return of the Google-Zipongo program investment by serving as the internal and external ambassador for the overall partnership

the culinary institute of america

st. helena, ca 2008 to 2015

Strategic Initiative Executive Chef with an emphasis on the culinary development of 11 annual events and various custom programs, as well as ongoing recipe development and video projects with our Digital Media Department.

  • Objectives: Promote sustainable food practices within the industry, educate the public about health and wellness, and continue to preserve authentic world cuisines.
  • Responsible for developing detailed Food and Beverage Plans six weeks in advance for each of our 11 conferences (four are held in other locations across the country and in Asia). Involved in conference coordination, including all aspects of creative flow for menus, communicating with various guest chefs, developing long-term relationships with sponsors, and executing world-class events for the industry at large.
  • Work with our wide array of sponsors prior to each event to develop recipe concepts that meet their specific product goals.
  • Communicate with our guest chefs to procure recipes and inform them of their culinary responsibilities.
  • Assist in developing recipes and participating in culinary demonstrations used as original video for various clients by our Digital Media Department.

simply brilliant

seattle, wa 2002 to 2010

Owner of Simply Brilliant, a business that specialized in teaching private cooking classes and catering multi-course meals. The business was dedicated to creating seasonal menus, original recipes, and providing small, hands-on cooking classes resulting in fine dining experiences. Grossed over $90,000 per year (included two assistants).

  • Responsible for developing a marketing plan, creating a customized website, and promoting the concept of Simply Brilliant.
  • Teaching and cooking for select clients in the Pacific Northwest. Attendees paid $100 to $150 per person.

seattle culinary academy

seattle, wa 2003 to 2008

Tenured Chef-Instructor at the Seattle Culinary Academy located in the heart of the city. From September 2003 to 2008, I taught Fine Dining quarterly.

  • Responsible for serving lunch to 40 to 50 covers in One World Restaurant featuring seasonal Northwest cuisine, which combines outstanding fresh local ingredients with a variety of international flavors. The menu changed every two weeks to showcase different international cuisines.
  • Seattle Culinary Academy’s ACF accredited programs offer a certificate of completion and an AAS degree in both Culinary Arts and in Specialty Desserts and Breads. Voted ‘College of the Year’ in 2001.
  • Every quarter I taught a new group of students, ranging in class size from 15 to 25. I taught 12-week courses on theory and restaurant cooking.
  • Involved in creating a pilot program in 2006 where students farm two acres of land during the summers under the direction of volunteers from the Skagit Valley. Continued to lead the farm program during the summer quarter, educating students about farming and sustainability.
  • Developed and implemented a student store selling products made in the kitchen, ranging from veal stock to 'to-go' dinner entrees. We tracked quarterly sales and food costs.
  • Winner of an annual grill contest cooking in the “Iron Chef” format.

the art institute of seattle culinary arts

seattle, wa spring 2003

Served as Chef-Instructor for one quarter teaching Current Cuisine to culinary arts students.

  • The Art Institute’s ACF accredited program is well respected throughout the region. Taught the final class designed to teach students about the current atmosphere of the Northwest’s restaurant industry to graduating students.
  • Exposed students to high-end products like foie gras, lobster, truffles, and specialty meats utilized in fine dining.
  • Coordinated a lecture series of local chefs who came into the classroom to share their experiences and demonstrate techniques.

private chef

seattle, wa 2002 to 2003

Private Chef on an exclusive basis for a family in the Madison Park area of Seattle.

  • Responsible for all planning, purchasing, preparation, and service of four dinners a week. Worked with an unlimited budget serving the best products on the market.
  • Hosted private gourmet dinners for groups of eight to 20 people for various community events.

the herbfarm restaurant

woodinville, wa 2001 to 2002

Sous-Chef for the four-star restaurant, The Herbfarm located in the countryside outside Seattle. The restaurant was committed to the cultivation of culinary excellence. Rated #15 on Gourmet’s Top 50 Restaurants in America in 2001.

  • Served 80 guests four nights per week a seasonal, nine-course meal for $180 per person. Annual revenue ranged from $2.5 to $3 million.
  • Worked directly with Executive Chef Jerry Traunfeld, winner of the James Beard Award for ‘Best Chef in the Northwest/Hawaii’ in 2000.
  • Helped create weekly nine-course menus using the freshest Northwest ingredients. Harvested fresh herbs and produce from our two-acre farm for use in our weekly menus.
  • Assisted in the re-opening of the restaurant after four years without a permanent home. Took part in the development of the two-acre farm that provided the food for many of the seasonal menus.
  • Consistently met our food cost budget of 11% while keeping our food waste to a minimum.

waterfront seafood grill

seattle, wa 2000 to 2001

Full-service, fine-dining restaurant featuring fresh seafood and locally farmed vegetables on Elliot Bay. The 250-seat restaurant grossed $6 million in annual sales, serving an average of 160 covers nightly for dinner.

  • Executive Sous-Chef managing a kitchen crew of 25 to produce high-quality food.
  • Collaborated directly with Chef Vicky McCaffree in creating a constantly evolving eclectic dinner menu.
  • Managed a consistent 29% food cost and a 15% labor cost in the kitchen.

gerard's restaurant

lahaina, hi 1999 to 2000

  • Sous-Chef of this highly acclaimed French restaurant in the heart of Lahaina, Maui.
  • Managed a kitchen crew of eight to produce a large menu of Hawaiian-inspired classical French cuisine.
  • Responsible for daily purchasing, receiving, and organization of the food preparation for the restaurant, The Plantation Inn’s breakfast, and large private dinner parties.

the french laundry

yountville, ca summer 1998

Apprenticed in Chef Thomas Keller’s widely acclaimed kitchen for two months during the summer of 1998. Chef Thomas gave me free reign to work and learn in all stations, allowing me the opportunity to fine-tune the French techniques that later became the foundation of my eclectic style.

  • Worked with the butcher, pastry chef, garde manger, and the Chef de Cuisine for the fish and meat stations.
  • Assisted cooks with the testing of recipes for The French Laundry Cookbook published in 2000.

brie & bordeaux

seattle, wa 1996 to 1999

Executive Chef opening this 30-seat, French-influenced bistro/wine and cheese shop. Received rave reviews from local critics and customers. Nominated in 1998 for James Beard’s ‘Rising Chef of the Year’ award.

  • Created constantly changing seasonal menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, and our catering program. Managed a kitchen staff of six to 10 people to produce simple, yet elegant food.
  • Responsible for most aspects of running the restaurant including menu creation and design, food preparation, food costing, purchasing, and running monthly P & L statements. Maintained a consistent 31% food cost, and implemented various systems over the years to track and reduce the food cost.

cafe juanita

kirkland, wa 1994 to 1995

Sous-Chef. Managed this Northern Italian-style kitchen three days per week. Created fresh desserts, and prepared pasta and bread on a daily basis. Involved in developing a catering department and cooking for off-site events.