EXECUTIVE CHEF, AUGUSTE ESCOFFIER SCHOOL OF CULINARY ARTS, ONLINE
Chef Chanel grew up in a mixed Mexican-Romanian household and inherited a love of cooking from her mother and grandmother, who made dinner from scratch every night. After graduating from high school, she was torn between becoming a teacher or entering the culinary world. She decided on culinary, and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2004 with an Associate Degree in Occupational Studies.
Working at various hotels and restaurants, she combined the training she had gained from her studies with the philosophy of home-style comfort food she had learned growing up. Her focus was in culinary, but her sweet tooth constantly pulled her towards baking, and she found ways to incorporate both into her work.
A year later, Chef Chanel started a catering company, White Apron Catering, where she worked closely with doctors to develop specialized menu options with patients who had compromised diets. Her passion for teaching never faded, however, and in 2006 she joined the staff of the Kitchen Academy in Hollywood as a Chef Instructor.
From there, she continued teaching with Le Cordon Bleu, as Lead Chef Instructor of the Baking and Pastry program, for which she received the L’Esprit de Excellence Award in 2009 and Educator of the Year nominations in 2013 and 2014. She became a certified pastry chef (CWPC) through the American Culinary Federation in 2013. In 2016, she left her position at Le Cordon Bleu to get involved in online education, joining the staff of the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts.
Chef Chanel believes in fostering active discussion and participation among students. Each student has their own path through the culinary world, and the classroom is the crossroads where each path meets the others, making culinary school the ideal time for students to learn from each other’s experiences. Everyone has something to contribute.
Chef Chanel lives in Burbank, California, with her husband Jim and her son Fenway.