Maybe it was watching people connect over a meal while working at a small café in Orange County, California when I was 14. Or possibly from talking with my cousin Ted as he established himself in the San Francisco culinary scene around the same time. Or it could have been the realization that an office job would never make me as happy as I was when I was hustling to keep up with the rest of the kitchen team during the dinner rush. Whatever drove me to becoming a chef, I had made up my mind to pursue a career in the kitchen by the age of 16.
While obtaining a degree in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute of California – Orange County, I enriched that formal education though obsessive reading of Anthony Bourdain’s literary canon, picking up side jobs in any and every type of culinary job and event I could find, and working tirelessly for one of the premier restaurant groups in Orange County, 230 Forest Ave. It was with that group, alongside Executive Chef Marc Cohen, that I honed my skills to lead a kitchen team, to understand that each person and preparation helps execute a flawless event, and how to design a menu that balances flavors, passion and presentation to match the tone and expectation of the client and their guests. After opening Watermarc Restaurant as the chef de cuisine, I developed a team that crafted a unique dining experience that quickly became a favorite of Laguna Beach locals, five-star resort tourists and international celebrities. In 2020, I appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, impressing world renowned chefs with my ability to combine casual flavors with classic techniques and creative interpretations. Through everything I’ve accomplished and endured throughout my career, I’ve always attributed my successes to my commitment to working hard and genuinely connecting with the people around me.
I created Produce Catering + Creative to help clients experience unforgettable meals, discover new flavors with friends old and new, create menus that compliment the sentiment of an occasion, and help the food seamlessly integrate into an event. Let’s work together to design a menu that satisfies your cravings. Let’s get creative to make sure it fits your vision and your budget. Let’s exceed the expectations you have for a celebration, a cuisine and a caterer. Let’s produce an event.