Summary of where the Chef’s cuisine is inspired from and how he/she goes about expressing it
I am a native Angelino but, it was my Burmese-born mother, her youth spent in India, who instilled in me a passion for the aromas and flavors of exotic cuisines. Her deeply authentic cooking style, paired with my Canadian-born father’s love of eating and restaurants, provided no escape from obsession with all things epicurean. While other kids in 1970s Los Angeles were discussing school or skateboards, dinner conversations in my family consisted of reading restaurant reviews aloud, and, on Sundays, restaurant critic Elmer Dills' radio show blared from the AM band of our receiver. Prior to becoming a chef, I obtained a degree in Mathematics at UCLA, a CPA and a career in international business. This only served to fan the foodie flames within. Extensive travel and living and working in Copenhagen, Moscow and New York City allowed me to dine in the finest restaurants and experience the great cuisines of the world. When I returned to Los Angeles, I chose to zero in on my passion for food. I wanted to enable people to travel the world through my cuisine and the atmosphere in which it is served. After receiving my culinary certificate in 2005, I became a private chef and caterer with laser focus on taking the intimate dinner party to a new level. I like to provide delicious, authentic international food accentuated by over-the-top presentations, a personalized cocktail recipe, and, if desired, international music and dance in keeping with the cuisine's roots. All serve to transport dinner guests to a wonderful place.
List of the Chef's favorite ingredients
How did the Chef learn how to cook and what is his story?
My mother was an excellent cook and I loved the exotic international dishes she brought to the table; she had an amazing way with spices. But, it was my grandmother who utilized my small childhood hands for the repetitive tasks required in making middle eastern food (my grandfather was a Bagdahdi). We made sambusak (cheese puffs), beef-and-rice-stuffed onion skins and anything else she would let me get my hands on. As a young adult, my finance career took me to Moscow in the early 90s when things had just opened up for business. Away in this far-off place, I craved my family’s food. Determined to recreate the tastes from home, I called my mother and grandmother for tidbits of information, yet there were no specific recipes to follow. My Russian gas oven would occasionally act up when I tried to light it and, POOF, I would emerge from the kitchen with singed hair and eyelashes. Once, in Russia, when I tried and failed to recreate my grandmother’s dough, I called her. She told me that I had to remember the “feel of the dough.” I realized, then, that cooking comes from the gut and uses sensual memory. After that pivotal moment, I was on my way to producing the deep, delicious, authentic flavors and textures that I wanted. After Russia, I lived and and worked in New York City and Europe, where I enjoyed some of the world’s great dining experiences. Things paid off, and, upon my return to Los Angeles, I had the culinary fuel to make a 180 degree career turn and train as a chef so I could satisfy my soul and the soul of others by creating and giving a great dining experience.
Westlake Culinary Institute with Chef Cecelia De Castro
Professional Series Student (Jan 2004 - Jun 2005)
Trained under Chef De Castro who is a longtime consultant to Wolfgang Puck. She now runs the Academy of Culinary Education in Los Angeles.
Owner/Executive Chef (Jan 2015-Now)
Creating unique and customized cake creations for special occasions. www.avawoodcakes.com
Freelance Chef (Sep 2005-Now)
Customizing memorable culinary experiences for private clients for 10+ years.
Owner/Executive Chef (Sep 2005-Now)
Private chef and caterer specializing in Bollywood style dinner parties for private clients. www.bollywoodfoods.com.
Los Angeles, CA, United States
Travel: 500 kms
No description provided.