La Cucina Stagionale

Blog for A Posto Personal Chef Services LLC in Newport, Oregon

Archive for the tag “private cooking classes”

A Posto personal chef services llc turns two!

I apologize for my absence.  While I’ve been good at sharing the radio program podcasts, I’ve been woefully negligent at my blog posts.  I have at least half a dozen unfinished posts sitting in my blog writing program.  I don’t really have any good excuses either.  Sure I’ve been busy; this summer was awesome for the business, but I could have made time to write.

Anyway, I am back and will do my best to post as often as I can.  I still have lots of things to share; it’s just making the sharing a priority.  So A Posto Personal Chef Services LLC turned two today.  We officially opened for business on August 1, 2010, but I was just getting off a plane from Italy so I don’t count that date.  On September 1, 2010, our website went live which in my mind, made us a a viable business.  Here are some highlights of what we’ve been up to over the past year:

  • Teaching: my true passion!
  • I have become a regular instructor at the Culinary Center in Lincoln City  where, along with Chef Sharon Wiest, I teach one-two classes a month.  Last October, I taught a 5-day Italian class that was a blast.  We made food from a different region every day and everyone’s favorite part of the day was the 11:00 AM snack where we had salumi’s, cheeses, and wine!
  • I’ve taught two cooking class workshops at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology a beautiful campus located at Cascade Head just north of Lincoln City.  I am working with the staff now to develop a workshop for 2013.
  • I started teaching 3-hour hands-on classes at the South Beach Community Center once a month.  I started with hands-on pasta making and have branched out into other menus over the past couple of months.  Bruce taught his first hands-on pizza class last weekend and will be teaching another class this month.
  • I have taught several private classes this year, many more than last year.  It’s always fun to get a group of people together in a private setting and work on a meal together.  One of my favorites was one I did back in July that was a birthday surprise for a dad from his family.  When I walked into the house, Mom said: “honey dinner’s here”.  Dad looked at me and said: “good, I didn’t want to go out anyway.”
  • I’ve scheduled with Oregon Coast Community College to teach homemade mozzarella and ricotta cheese making, starting in October, once a month through the end of the year.
  • Private Dinner Parties:
  • I have had the opportunity to cook for many special occasions over the past year.  We’ve not done as many weddings this year as last and most of them have been very small.  All of the dinner parties have been at either private homes or vacation rentals and have run the gamut on the type of celebration.  Some highlights are as follows:
  • An 85th vegan birthday celebration where there was over 400 years of collective wisdom in the room along with my first vegan tiramisu’!
  • A collective 60th birthday party with 12 friends who have known each other since kindergarten.
  • A 50th wedding anniversary where the entire family got dressed up for the event with three men showing up in tuxedos!
  • A family reunion where it was a first time visit to the Oregon Coast for many of the members.
  • Other Events:
  • I participated in three cook-offs and won at two of them.  They are held at the Culinary Center in Lincoln City 4 times a year: Jambalaya in January, Fish Taco in May, Mushroom in October and Chowder in November.  They are fun events and literally, hundreds of people show up.  I’ll be competing in the Mushroom cook-off this year again (won 2nd place last year) on October 6th.
  • I taught a team-building class for a group from Nike back in June.  I had three teams of participants and they were very competitive with each other.  It was fun and the food came out great.
  • I provided the food for the City of Lincoln City’s holiday party last December.  I made five different kinds of lasagne for over 150 people.  It was a fun night as there were several people coming back into the kitchen asking for the recipes.  I will be providing the food for the city again this year.
  • I provided the food for a charity fund raiser for the local hospital in Lincoln City.  It was an Italian menu and the homemade meatballs and sausage were the big hit!
  • Community Service:
  • I taught a few free one-hour classes for Food Share of Lincoln County this Spring.  We focused on a recipe for one vegetable that could be prepared within one-hour that is common to Food Pantry clients.  The participants received a copy of the recipe and the vegetable to take home.
  • I worked on the revision of the 10th anniversary Oyster Cloyster cookbook and was the chef coordinator last year (and will be again this year).  The Oyster Cloyster is an annual fundraiser for the aquarium science program at the community college.
  • I’m a sponsor and volunteer for the upcoming Harvest Meal at Forks Farm in Yachats on September 16.  The meal is a fundraiser for Ten Rivers Food Web which helps to develop programs that focus on local foods within our communities.

Whew!  I am so excited that I have been able to take my passion for cooking and sharing of good food and make it my life’s work.  This year has been one of growth personally and professionally and I look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.  I’ve made some beautiful contacts with like-minded people this past year, many of them farmers, and I look forward to the continued relationships.  I am very happy that I made the choice to change my path in life and encourage all of you to find your passion and follow it!  It’s why we are here!  A presto!

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A Posto personal chef services llc celebrates 6 months of biz

I can’t believe we’ve been in business for 6 months!  A year ago, I was wrapping up my time in New York and getting ready to fly to Italy for the rest of my training.  I wasn’t sure, at that time, what I was going to do after I graduated.  During my externship at the seafood restaurant: Alla Lanterna, I came across a website for a personal chef somewhere on the east coast.  I had been doing research for a paper for school and stumbled upon my new career!  6 months later, I can say that it was definitely the right path to follow.  While we are not quite a household name yet, our presence and business continues to progress.  Some highlights of what we’ve been up to are as follows:

  • I will be teaching my first official hands-on pasta making class at the Culinary Center in Lincoln City on March 19.  I will also be teaching a hands-on brunch class to celebrate Mother’s Day along with Executive Chef, Sharon Wiest on May 7.  And, we just scheduled a week-long Italian Intensive class October 24-28.  I’m excited to be part of the team that provides culinary instruction to the residents and visitors of Lincoln City.
  • I will be teaching my first workshop at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on August 20.  The participants will be making pasta and sauces from several Italian regions on the beautiful and pristine campus located just north of Lincoln City at Cascade Head.
  • I am working with Food Share of Lincoln County to develop a cooking class program for the Food Share clients who receive monthly food boxes.
  • Bruce & I have also been volunteering at the Culinary Center in Lincoln City.  We’ve met some great chefs, nice people, and have learned new recipe and techniques.  Plus, we get paid in food!!!
  • I worked with the Taft High School Culinary Program from October-February as a chef mentor to help the team prepare for the annual ProStart competition which is held in Portland.  The team chose a Sicilian menu which included caponata, cannoli, and tuna.  While they did not win, they had a great time and added some Italian words to their culinary vocabulary.
  • We have embarked on a 6-month radio campaign with BOSS/KCUP here in Newport to help make us a household name.  Our clients are ‘anyone who eats’…… Smile
  • We’ve donated 4 in-kind dinners to both the Lincoln City and Newport Chambers, and to Samaritan Hospital in both Lincoln City and Newport.  We’ve cooked for three of those donations and have made new friends from the experiences.
  • I’ve become a Lincoln City Chamber Ambassador, and will be meeting with the Newport Ambassadors in May to present the business and feed them a good Italian breakfast!
  • We moved our website to a CMS (Client Management System) so we could respond more quickly and easily.  The website has been revised over the past couple of months in content only; the original design remains intact as it is exceptional….we’ve received numerous compliments from many of our clients and potential clients.
  • We created a Facebook page for the business and keep our fans up to date on the latest status……….become a fan yourself.
  • I’ve been a guest on local AM radio a few times and will be on again twice this month: March 14 on KBCH with the Lincoln City Chamber Chat and on March 23 on KCUP.
  • We’ve booked several small dinner parties for wine tastings, weddings, anniversaries, and life celebrations for this Spring, Summer, and Fall.  It feels good to have work scheduled 6 months or more out and know that more will come in.
  • I’ve taught several private cooking classes and have more scheduled.  They have all been  hands-on up to this point, but we can also do demonstration or a combo if the client desires.  All we need is a private kitchen and at least 4 people to make one happen.
  • I’ve also done some private one-on-one instruction.  It’s been really fun to help the client learn to make something new and then enjoy it with their family and/or friends.
  • Bruce has been helping me with preparation and serving at our dinner party bookings, managing our finances, and contributing to the website and the blog.  He’s also been feeding our friends his incredible pizza; he continues to improve his skill with every pie he makes.

It’s amazing what we’ve accomplished in such a short period of time and we thank everyone who has supported us along the way.  We look forward to cooking more great food for great people that is always healthy, fresh and in season, and affordable!

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