Meet Chef Eliza
Eliza is a speaker, chef-entertainer, teacher, and cheerleader for anyone who yearns to get cooking!
Learn more about this Chopped Champ:
Chef Eliza spent over a decade in restaurant world. During a busy shift at her restaurant in San Francisco where she worked as Executive Chef, she greeted a table of young, happy guests. They entreated her to share the pasta recipe they had been so delighted by, and she divulged without hesitation. In that moment she realized she had a greater mission than running a restaurant: encouraging the next generation to cook for themselves.
She turned in her Exec Chef apron and got to work at a children's culinary school in the heart of San Francisco. She now offers motivational presentations to high schools, colleges, and corporate teams in the hopes of inspiring willing hands to craft healthy and healing food, and therefore, live a longer, more empowered live.
"If I don't do this work, who will? Chefs are the only members of our community left who are granted this knowledge of eating well. Children eat six times a day, and yet have no relation with their food."
Chef Eliza's culinary adventures began in New York City, where she studied at the Institute of Culinary Education, worked tirelessly at the Rachael Ray Show, Saveur Magazine, and multiple high end catering companies and restaurants. After winning a cooking competition for the James Beard Foundation, she was sent to Chicago to serve as their first Woman in Culinary Leadership. She worked for an Indian restaurant, mastering spices, then for a Creole restaurant, teaching at-risk and homeless to become line cooks. Longing to educate, she next launched her own catering company and aquaponic farming company, while working for a children's cooking school.
She soon moved to San Francisco to work as the Executive Chef of a fine dining Italian restaurant in Union Square. Moved to continue her mission to educate, she now works as a cooking instructor for both children and adults.