Hello everyone and welcome to Girl-Chef Tastes! I would first like to introduce myself. My name is Christina Larson. I am a former professional chef, by trade, and wine rep for a wine. I have two certifications as a wedding coordinator, one through Marriott Weddings, I am certified through the Pillars program specializing in Hospitality, I am a certified specialist of Hawaiian culture through the visitors bureau of Hawaii, I am a certified wine specialist throughWSET and I am an on again-off again student in jr. college, trying to obtain my diploma, which has proven to be a significantly slow process. Now, I’m married and actually have time to spend with my kids.
I’ve worked in kitchens along side large, muscle bound ex-convicts. I’m only 5’1, so just about anyone can look largely muscle bound to me. I’ve worked in kitchen’s, shoulder to shoulder with a few hostile, violent cooks who you dared not cross. I’ve worked in kitchens that were so well maintained and enormous that you hardly even spoke to the other cooks from across it’s grand stations. I’ve helped open two restaurants and wrote two restaurant menus in full and assisted in the creation of several others. I’ve written several wine, beer and whiskey tasting menus throughout my time in the restaurant industry and at one point, found myself working 133 hours a week for 2 months straight with no days off during the opening of one of the restaurants….no joke.
I’ve been featured in the Austin News, Scene Magazine and Houston News. I’ve seen the real things that go on behind the doors of a restaurant kitchen, and let me tell you, I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world!
I first began my culinary journey when I was merely 17 years old. I was living on my own. I didn’t have a car but, only lived about a mile from work so, walking to and from on a daily basis was no big deal, except for those wonderfully rainy days that so often happen in my part of the world but, I digress. Thankfully, my boyfriend at that time was a bit of a “foodie” so, trying new restaurants with delicious crazy food was right up his alley. The world of culinary delights was at my fingertips. As time went on, my taste buds evolved and international cuisine became a staple in my home and everyday life. I was pretty wild as a teenager, as most are. My first restaurant gig was as a waitress. Whooh! All I can say is that I have a genuine respect for all of the waiters and waitresses out there. Once I realized the front of the house, or rather, front of the restaurant, was not for me, I decided to try my hand in the kitchen. I was blessed with that my first kitchen job was actually running the a.m. shift for a four diamond luxury hotel. I was absolutely mortified, yet blissfully excited. I wasn’t even sure if I could handle running a restaurant kitchen, much less cooking for high end customers, but I did and I did it well. Before I knew it, glamorous customers driving BMW’s, wearing Rolex watches and styling enormous diamond wedding rings that most people could only dream of merely touching, were suddenly coming into the kitchen to meet ME! I couldn’t believe it. I saw nothing special about me. I was simply doing what I loved…and getting paid for it. That’s always a plus.
From that point, I went on to work under the direction of some of the most renowned chefs with my food and/or bio printed in magazines and newspapers all around and cooking for well known celebrities, pro ballplayers and even presidents of other countries as the executive sous chef for a high end aviation company. It was pretty exciting. The funny thing was, I didn’t really care too much about the publicity. I just wanted to cook! I soon was hired on to be the general manager of two privately owned restaurants in a touristy city about 45 minutes from where I live. I found a new type of adrenaline. It was intense and chaotic, a good chaotic. A fascinating chaotic that I soon became addicted to, just as I did in the kitchens. But, all of those experiences will soon be shared as recipes or memories are posted in my blog. Until then. Please share, enjoy and NEVER be afraid to create!
Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org