Hello everyone and welcome to Girl-Chef Tastes! I would first like to introduce myself. My name is Christina Larson. I am a professional chef, by trade, and currently a wine rep for a wine importer in Houston Texas. 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 currently in school working on my WSET certification in wine and I am a student in jr. College working towards my phd in English Literature, which has proven to be a significantly slow process, especially considering the fact that I am a divorced single mom holding down a full time job and being a full time mom. I know, I know, divorce is almost like a cuss word when it comes to culinary enthusiast, but let’s face it. It’s there. It happens. I’m not going to pretend to be a glamorous “peachy perfect” cook who lives day by day on cloud nine. Sorry. That’s not the way my crazy hectic life works. It would be great if it did, but the plain and simple truth is that it just doesn’t happen for me.
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. It eventually got to the point that I would take my kids to work and let them watch tv in the office just to be able to spend time with them. Hey, they liked it. They actually enjoyed seeing how a real restaurant kitchen runs.
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 fist began my culinary journey when I was merely 17 years old. I’m pushing 40 now, so to me, that was a long time ago. 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 we so often get in my part of the world, but I digress. I began dating. Thankfully my boyfriend 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. It was pretty exciting. The funny thing was, I didn’t really care too much about the publicity. I just wanted to cook! 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