I was born in the region of Bordeaux, from a French mother and an Algerian father, which greatly influenced my style of cooking, I spent my childhood on a farm, surrounded by vineyards and fields of wheat and corn. My earliest memories are of my grandma’s kitchen: she would always gather the family for a Sunday lunch, working tirelessly to concoct the most amazing dishes with most of the ingredients from her garden. After moving to California in 1996, I pursued a career in the food industry as a bartender for 20 years until I finally decided to follow my dream of becoming a professional cook and baker. I enrolled in the culinary program at Orange Coast college: over 3 years ago and landed my first job as a head line cook. I was finally pursuing my childhood dream! I was lucky enough to work for a Vietnamese Chef, who taught me the intricacy of her cuisine and opened my eyes to a whole new culinary world, a fusion of many Asian cultures as well European ones. My style of cooking nowadays focuses on classic French fares, “comfort” foods as they are known in the US, but I also enjoy whipping a spicy batch of Korean kimchi!
MY FAVORITE FOODS:
I live in Little Saigon…I’m truly spoiled when it comes to finding the perfect food that will suit my mood. I would say that a classic pho (beef tendons and all), a perfectly built banh mi or a spicy bun bo hue can cure all my “ills”, but then again, so can my mum’s pork pate or foie gras and oysters with a glass of Sauternes wine. On top of my list would be an amazing crusty baguette with a flight of artisan cheeses and charcuterie (don’t forget the cornichons!)
WHAT I LIKE TO DO WHEN I AM NOT COOKING:
I enjoy riding horses (still getting used to the western saddle), checking out new restaurants with my friends and learning all about the amazing food cultures from around the world.