The hiking Pastry Chef…

Working in the hospitality field, we have the ability to create lasting memories for our guests. Whether it’s preparing a decadent dessert for a corporate dinner or creating a special last-minute amenity for a guest having a bad day, I love being able to make an impact on a guest’s experience. 

I fell in love with this industry while working as a dishwasher in a busy restaurant. I thrived on the amazing teamwork built by stressful long hours.  I spent the next six and a half years in multiple restaurants working my way up and I learned everything I could about different cuisines.  Deciding to specialize in pastry, I moved to Paris, France to study at Le Cordon Bleu and graduated with a Diplôme de Pâtisserie, the highest Pastry Degree you can receive.

After school, I found my true calling in hotels.  Being able to bring multiple food styles from around the world to the fast paced world of banquet catering while also managing multiple restaurant outlets is where the real excitement is.  I love that one week can consist of several buffets for thousands of guests, a large wedding for 600, a VIP board meeting for 15, and constantly creating daily specialty desserts for seven different outlets.  Balancing, prioritizing, and multitasking are what I excel at!

I started my pastry career at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC but really found my stride at the famous luxury hotel The Jefferson in Richmond, Virginia.  I moved up to Assistant Pastry Chef while developing my skills both as a chef and as a manager.  After a few years of learning and teaching I moved to Charlottesville, Virginia to become the Head Pastry Chef of the Boar’s Head Resort.  Complete with a sports club, golf course, and spa, this property offered so many opportunities for team development and interdepartmental cooperation.  I was also able to have a better connection working directly with locals and guests by expanding on programs like personalized cooking classes for corporate groups and weekly gingerbread house making workshops during the winter.   

Most recently I had the opportunity to be the Head Pastry Chef of the Georgetown Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC.  I was able to be a part of the opening of their new restaurant, The Lobby Bar, and enjoyed the process of creating a new and unique outlet.  Although I loved developing my amazing team there, I decided to leave and pursue a different life goal.  On September 1st I completed thru hiking the Appalachian Trail, a total of 2,191 miles.  While I am very proud of this accomplishment, I am happy to be back in the culinary world and continuing my love of pastries.

  

I am loving my next adventure at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino as the Executive Pastry Chef. I love to be a part of a team that allows me to teach and train others while continually learning about the constantly evolving world of food.  Currently, local food items and dishes are very important to guests when choosing a place to eat.  That is why I like to research local produce as well as unique offerings such as locally made wine or vinegar.  My philosophy is to respect culinary traditions while mixing in unique and native flavors.  A well-loved dish can always be transformed and improved upon with the collective effort of a culinary team.

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