CHEF DE CUISINE, MIDDLE EARTH
When Caroline found Middle Earth five years ago, she left the corporate dinning management industry behind. She had not “cooked” for several years, but she loves food and was happy to be back in the kitchen. Caroline had a classic apprenticeship in Melbourne, Australia, with John Torode from Master Chef, and her education (a BA. Chef de Cuisine and Masters in Hotel Management) is evident in the food she serves daily. A while ago at Lake Tahoe skiing (in the 90's), she was offered an American Green Card to run a formal kitchen in a Casino, which is how she arrived to America.
From a family of accountants, she loves numbers, but loves flavors more. Caroline has cooked for an American President, the English Queen, a Prince, Princess, and Prime Ministers but now loves cooking for our Members Chef at Middle Earth. Caroline gets sad when she thinks about the poor quality meals and fast food that many people eat, with chemicals and additives, that are harmful for everyone.
She believes good quality ingredients deserve respect and cherishes the bounty that California can provide. She knows that good food brings joy and strives to bring happiness, energy, and beauty, along with the best food to us all, the Suites community, every day.
Our Chef now lives in Mountain View with Mario (her black lab), her twins Erin and Christian, 14, and her husband Keith.
Come and chat to her about any of your needs, and remember the best way to get what you want on the menu is to hash/work in her kitchen! Find her at firstname.lastname@example.org
CHEF DE CUISINE, BEEFEATERS
Dennis has been the Chef at Beefeaters since 1993. He graduated from Stanford in 1979 with a degree in Political Science and worked for ten years in the retail automotive business, then left to attend the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and pursue his passion for food. As he says, " I made lots more money then, but I'm lots happier now". After graduating from Culinary School he came to Beefeater's and has never left.
In 2002 the Stanford Alumni magazine featured Dennis in their "On the Job" section. You can read the article at https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=37753. If one could sum up his thoughts on food in a few words, they would be give lots of variety, and "buy great ingredients and don't screw them up". He really enjoys serving the world class seasonal and local foods that are available here: organic vine ripe tomatoes from Webb ranch in the fall, California Satsuma mandarin oranges and navel oranges in the winter, asparagus from the Sacramento River delta in the spring, and, of course, locally caught Half Moon Bay fish fresh from the boat. While in Culinary School he did his internship at The Fairmont in San Jose, in the pastry department, and it shows in the variety and quality of the desserts at Beefeaters.
SUSAN CHAPMAN DE LEON
CHEF DE CUISINE, BOLLARD
Susan knew early in life that she wanted to be a chef. Growing up in a blended family of 8 kids, learning to cook was a necessity. She earned her AA in Hotel and Restaurant Management at Canada College before attending the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and graduated in 1986. Later in her career she earned a certification in Holistic Nutrition through Bauman College. She has held the position of Executive Chef at Bay Area favorites including Fresco, Flea Street Café, The Lodge at Skylonda and the Djerassi Foundation where she continues to volunteer as a hiking and art docent.
Always the athlete, her creative style in nutritious cooking has been featured in several magazines including Shape-Living Fit, Prevention and Vogue and earned the prestigious Readers Choice Award Conde Nest Travelers for Best Spa Cuisine under her leadership at Skylonda.
"Working at GCDS is a chefs and parents dream job! Bollard Club is a vibrant, creative and inclusive environment and I love being a part of it. I feel part chef, part den mom." When not cooking at GCDS she plays Masters water polo, loves hiking and is mom to Louie the thespian and Elisabeth the jock. Her husband Louis is also a chef so no one goes hungry and home.
CHEF DE CUISINE, AVANTI
Nick was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio -- a small city 40 minutes south of Detroit. After high school, he moved to upstate New York and started working in restaurants to support himself while traveling around the East Coast and the South. Nick arrived in California in 2004 for culinary school and has worked at some of the most well-known restaurants in San Francisco. Prior to joining GCDS, Nick worked at All Spice and Taj Campton Place -- helping them earn their first Michelin Star--, and subsequently worked for Spruce, Outerlands, Va de Vi Bistro, and Navio Kitchen in the Ritz Carlton of Half Moon Bay.
When he is not cooking in Avanti, Nick is a property manager in San Francisco and has been doing so for ten years. He just started his own property management company this year.
Nick grew up with a passion for playing roller hockey and played varsity ice hockey in High School while helping to reinstate the hockey program after 20 years. A famous NHL goalie, Pat Jablonski, played for his school back then. Nick continues his passion for roller hockey, playing in Oakland every weekend. He also tries to work out every day, if not just for ten minutes. Nick finished his first sprint triathlon last summer with a time of 1hr 20min. He "was pretty stoked about it". Nick also likes to ski, hunt, fish, boulder climb, and off road in his Jeep. His goal is to get his Jeep ready for Fordyce, known as one of the toughest off-roading trails in California, during the summer of 2017.