About Me

“It’s been said that some of the best cooks learn in the family kitchen. We couldn’t agree more. In the case of Executive Chef Grace Gonzalez, she developed her passion for the culinary arts cooking at her grandmother’s side. There, Chef Gonzalez developed a finesse in the kitchen that she later took to a professional level, working in restaurants while she pursued a degree in biomedical engineering at John Hopkins University. After graduating as a biomedical engineer however, the call of kitchen won out and she returned to school, this time earning a degree in Culinary Arts before making a name for herself in some of Baltimore’s most prestigious restaurants. We then enticed her to come work for us in California. Chef Gonzalez uses Southern California’s abundant food resources to create crave-worthy dishes like fish tacos with habanero crema and pineapple slaw. Explore her menu for yourself and experience dining done to perfection.”

WORK EXPERIENCE

Executive Sous Chef, Pacific Hideaway – Kimpton Hotels, Huntington Beach, CA (July 2016 – Present)

  • Assists Chef with menu planning and pricing, including costing worksheets and writing menu descriptions.
  • Completes daily inventory/prep list. Responsible for placing food and supply orders.
  • Responsible for expediting service ensuring food is prepared timely and correctly.
  • Able to work all stations (sauté, grill, pantry, and raw bar) for all shifts (dinner, lunch, and breakfast).
  • Assists Chef with creating daily specials, implementing menu changes, and recruiting, hiring, and training employees.
  • Responsible for the following office duties: Performance reviews for cooks and dishwashers, payroll, accounting for invoices using the purchase log and descending balance.
  • Assists Banquet/Catering departments as needed (i.e. Wedding tastings and execution)
  • Transitioned restaurant from former concept (Zimzala) into new concept (Pacific Hideaway).
  • Responsible for creating dessert menu including recipe development and ensuring consistent and quality product.

Chef de Cuisine, BLVD 16 – Kimpton Hotels, Los Angeles, CA (June 2015 – July 2016)

  • Menu planning and pricing, including costing worksheets and writing menu descriptions.
  • Revamped prep list and ordering system. Established par levels and created order guides.
  • Responsible for expediting service ensuring food is prepared timely and correctly.
  • Able to understand accounting and finances including Profit & Loss statements, writing yearly budgets, weekly and monthly forecasting, and daily sales reports.
  • Keep food cost and labor costs inline to budgeted numbers.
  • Oversees staff of 20 employees.

Sous Chef (Prior Lead Line Cook), B&O American Brasserie – Kimpton Hotels, Baltimore, MD (July 2012 – June 2015)

  • Assists Chef with menu planning and pricing, including costing worksheets and writing menu descriptions.
  • Completes daily inventory/prep list. Responsible for placing food and supply orders.
  • Responsible for expediting service ensuring food is prepared timely and correctly.
  • Able to work all stations (sauté, grill, garde manger, and pizza oven) for all shifts (dinner, lunch, and breakfast).
  • Assists Chef with creating daily specials, implementing menu changes, and training employees.
  • Responsible for the following office duties: Performance reviews for cooks and dishwashers, keeping track of E-time and approving payroll, and accounting for invoices using the purchase log and descending balance.
  • Assists Banquet/Catering departments as needed (i.e. Wedding tastings and execution)
  • As Sauté Cook (November 2011 – July 2012) Responsible for preparation and proper presentation sauté menu items; assuring that all items are prepared as specified by the Chef. Set-up and prepare mise-en-place for station prior to service. Responsible for inventory for sauté station along with proper inventory rotation when new product is received. Ensures station is clean and stocked for every shift. Provides support for grill station as necessary.
  • As Overnight Cook – Prepare overnight room service orders; assuring that all items are prepared as specified by the Chef. Receive food orders, followed a FIFO inventory rotation when new product is received. Assist with bulk kitchen prep including soups, sauces, and meat butchering.

Lead Cook/ Pastry Chef, Alewife, Baltimore, MD (September 2010 – November 2011)

  • Entrusted with keys to the establishment and opening kitchen for the day.
  • Completed daily inventory and responsible for setting up daily bulk prep.
  • Responsible for bulk kitchen prep including soups, sauces, and meat butchering.
  • Received food orders; followed a FIFO inventory rotation when new product was received.
  • Completed a weekly inventory to assist with purchasing and food cost management.
  • Cross trained on all stations (sauté, grill, fry, and garde manger) for lunch and dinner service.
  • Provided training to new employees.
  • Responsible for creating all dessert specials.

Internship, Martins Valley Mansion, Cockeysville, MD (February 2010 – June 2010)

  • Assist with hot and cold side prep and plating for banquets.

Cook, Yabba Pot, Baltimore, MD (August 2009 – December 2009)

  • Prepared vegan dishes including food on hot bar, salads, soups, juices, and desserts.
  • Entrusted with keys to the establishment and opening kitchen for the day.
  • Received orders for produce and other supplies. Completed a weekly inventory to assist with purchasing.
  • Provided training to new employees.

EDUCATION

Baltimore International College, Baltimore, MD

  • Professional Cooking Certificate (July 2009 – June 2010)
  • GPA – 3.95

HONORS & AWARDS

  • ACF Baltimore, August 2013 Culinary Competition, Bronze Medal/2nd Place Overall (K9 Category)
  • ACF Central New York Chapter, Spring Culinary Classic 2010, Silver Medal (SK-1 Category)
  • Baltimore International College, One Pot Cookery Competition (2/2010), Gold Medal
  • Baltimore International College, Cold Food Salon (2/2010), Bronze Medal
  • Grammenos A. Adamantiades Memorial Scholarship, Selected Recipient for 2009
  • ACF Northern New Jersey Chapter, Fall Culinary Classic 2009, Bronze Medal (SK-1 Category)

CERTIFICATIONS

  • HACCP Manager Certified (Passed on 4/6/2017)
  • First Aid & CPR (Passed on 11/22/2016)
  • Internationally Certified Food Service Manager (Passed on 1/5/2016)
  • ServSafe Alcohol Certificate (Passed on 1/5/2016)
  • Gluten-Free Training (Passed on 11/30/2014)

SKILLS

  • Restaurant Marketing – Active on various social media outlets
  • Familiar with the following systems: Aloha, Avero, Opentable, Delphi, ADP Vantage
  • Wine and Beer knowledge – Familiar with different varietals and able to pair with food dishes
  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint)
  • Fluent in English, Conversational in Spanish

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