Tell readers about yourself and where your interest in cooking stemmed.
I have had a passion for cooking since I was a young girl. I spent the summers with my grandparents on their farm in Washington State. My grandmother taught me at an early age how to cook comfort food. We would pick vegetables in her garden and either can or cook them. I have very fond memories that I will cherish forever.
My mother was a single parent and had to work a lot, so I would come home from elementary school and cook dinner for our family too.
I got married at 19 and we are coming up on our 28th anniversary. I have 3 children aged 24, 20 and 15. We have made it a point to have family dinners together every night. I treasure those evenings and hope they will continue that tradition when they have families of their own.
I had been cooking for years as a self-taught chef. But one day thought, I want to learn more, so I applied at the COC Culinary program and it has been the best thing I’ve ever done! I’ve learned, among other things, important knife skills and wonderful plate presentation. I have had fabulous Chefs give me a new unique way to look at food.
Meeting these Chefs is what led to my acquiring the job at ACU as their newest Chef. It is a dream come true for me and I am in my glory working in their kitchen. I love it!
I am able to implement new menu items and started a new Tuesday $6.00 lunch menu: Ham and turkey panini with cheese and fig jam, Turkey club with bacon and avocado, Grilled chicken with basil, cheese and fresh tomato, and a Spring Salad with goat cheese, cranberries and candied pecans in a raspberry dressing.
Tell readers about your weekend Chef specials.
We have Friday and Saturday night specials that have included Steak with a Gorgonzola cheese sauce, Sea bass in a lemon, garlic, caper sauce and Crab Cakes. This weekend will be Stuffed Chicken breast with goat cheese, cranberries and candied pecans, served with pasta in a artichoke, basil and fresh-diced tomatoes. All specials come with a dessert: hot chocolate chip cookies, brownies, Crème Brule, etc.
Are you also a private caterer Liz?
I have had a catering business for many years. I started out serving family and friends. Then the word spread and it turned into serving lunches to businesses, private dinners for couples and large parties. I’ve done weddings, showers and other occasions. I also enjoy teaching cooking classes!
Do you plan menu items for wine pairing?
I haven’t done the wine pairings as of yet, but plan too. I will be taking classes to learn as much as I can about wine. I have had the pleasure of attending one on one wine tastings and classes at well-known wineries in Napa and Sonoma, but I want to learn much more.
(Editors note 2015: All Corked Up has since closed.)
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a guest judge for the L.A. International Wine Competition. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com