Chef Gwen

My culinary experience is extensive with a well-rounded depth of knowledge in many areas. I am passionate about food and sharing it with others in delicious & beautiful ways. After receiving my Master's degree in art history from UVA, I spent time in Italy and France and realized I had a deep interest in food: where it came from, how it was grown, how it was prepared and served and the history behind it. That led me to continue my education in the culinary arts.

After completing my culinary degree, I had the opportunity to be mentored by and work for several extraordinary people including; Jean Louis Palladin, Robert Mondavi, Madeline Kamman and Julia Child. Working in the fine dining industry as a chef with these greats prepared me for the challenge of becoming the founding chef of the Getty Center in LA, CA. A the Getty I created all of the food and wine menus for our five culinary venues and led a team of 101 cooks feeding the large national and international stream of guests and galas – sometimes over 20,000 daily – featuring farmer's market produce and other local foods. I was also personally selected many times to cook for people of fame with complete privacy. While at The Getty I was invited to be the consulting chef for Chateau T. I was also invited to be a guest chef on Crystal Cruise Lines three times and taught regular Getty cooking classes at Draeger's in SF. Shida Winery in Japan where I worked two months setting up a Napa style restaurant.

In 2000 I received a Julia Child Grant from Les Dames d'Escoffier taking me back to France to study specialty produce and farmer's markets. Upon my return, I began focus my career on specialty produce and continue working with and feature sustainable family farmer products by becoming vice president of Pro*Act Specialties and developing the brand Harvest Senstaions. At this time I created the first organic bagged kale salad (still available in stores today!). In 2014, after the death of my father I moved to NC to be closer to my family who has migrated here from around the world. Now I teach culinary arts at Cape Fear Community College and offer select wine dinner classes in Wilmington and am active in the Wilmington culinary community.

Bon Appetit!
~Chef Gwen

Contact ShipShape at 910-524-5655 to schedule Chef Gwen

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