Shameless Plugs for Some of my Favorite Foodie Friends
Denise Vivaldo: Author and Owner of "Food Fanatics"
A seasoned food professional with over 20 years of experience, Denise Vivaldo has catered more than 10,000 parties and has cooked for such guests as George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Prince Charles, Bette Midler, Suzanne Somers, Merv Griffin, Cher, Aaron Spelling, Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver.
She began her culinary training at the Ritz Escoffier and La Varenne in Paris, and then graduated Chef de Cuisine from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Denise spent numerous years as a professor at UCLA's Culinary Program and at her alma mater, The California Culinary Academy.
In 1988, Denise founded Food Fanatics, a catering, recipe-development, and food-styling firm based in Los Angeles, CA. Since that time, she has catered for such events as the Academy Awards Governor's Ball, Sunset Magazine's Taste of Sunset, and Hollywood wrap parties. She has also styled food for countless local and nationally syndicated television shows such as: The Ellen DeGeneres Show; The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; NapaStyle with Michael Chiarello; and, Inside Dish with Rachel Ray.
Denise is the author of "How to Start a Home-Based Catering Business" which has sold more than 150,000 copies and is in its 5th printing. She is also the author of "Do It For Less! Parties," "Do It For Less! Weddings," and the soon to be published "The Entertaining Encyclopedia." She is currently working on "The Food Styling Handbook," a book based on her decades of wide-ranging food styling experience.
Do It For Less! Weddings
How To Start a Home-Based Catering Business
Do It For Less! Parties
Mark Tafoya: Author, Personal Chef & Executive Producer "The Culinary Media Network"
Mark C. Tafoya is a world traveler and self-taught gourmand. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mark has a soft spot for the foods of the Southwest. Green and red chiles, carne adovada, and posole are the foods he grew up loving.
Educated at Yale University, Mark began his international food education while studying abroad in France. Paris offered a broad education in finding fresh, top quality ingredients, as well as doing the most with what's available.
After graduating from Yale with a BA in French Literature and Theater Studies, Mark spent 10 years as a New York actor. He was a member of Tony Randall's National Actor's Theater, sharing a Broadway stage with George C. Scott, Charles Durning and Mr. Randall, and also in Independent films.
Mark has also worked as a freelance writer for The Princeton Review, which enabled him to pursue his love of travel. Mark has learned about many world cuisines first hand, and mastered many of his recipes at the source. Favorite locations and cuisines include Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Italy, Ireland, France, Hungary, Spain and Greece. He continues to broaden his knowledge base through travel and cultural exchange with other cooks throughout the world. Mark also continues to study food in a formal way, and is a graduate of the Culinary Business Academy.
Chef Mark recently took some time away from his Personal Chef Service to work as a Private Chef, traveling with his employer to his many homes and cooking for VIP guests, including royalty, movie stars and heads of state. But he has always preferred working for himself and bringing his love of food to many different clients, so he has returned to New York.
Chef Mark is currently working on a project which will marry his loves of travel, culture, writing and food: A book project exploring many micro-regional cuisines, and introducing new depths of flavor and cultural understanding to American palates.
Mark is committed to a multicultural approach to life. One of the ways that we can learn to understand and indeed celebrate each other is through our cuisines. Something as seemingly small as our approach to food can transform the world in small and large ways.