By: Ocean Babin, Pastry Arts Student
Rosemarie Quebral Harris, known as Chef Rosie by the students of Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, entered the culinary program back in 2010, when the school was known as Culinary School of the Rockies.
She now tutors students in need of help, which is how I met her. I had trouble with Maths, so the school assigned her to tutor me and read the test for me because I have anxiety during test time and I tend to put the answers in the wrong places. She has been extremely helpful in tutoring me and others to success.
Escoffier: Did you attend Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts?
Chef Rosie: Back when I was younger and had finished my undergrad in graphic design, I was at a crossroad where I was deciding between two career paths: get a graduate degree in art therapy or pursue my love for cooking at a culinary school. It was a hard decision, but being a psychotherapist and helping people through issues with the use of art was at the time calling me just a tad bit more. After 8 years in that world, I got a little burned out, took a break and came back to that ol’ fork in the road and said “I’m going to culinary school!” Luckily my family and friends were all supportive and I enrolled myself into the farm-to-table program at the Culinary School of the Rockies, which later became Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts.
Escoffier: Did you take the Pastry Arts or the Culinary Program?
Chef Rosie: Back in our day they called it the “Professional Culinary Arts Program” with Farm to Table Externship. I didn’t take the Pastry program, but at the time the pastry portion of the culinary program was a little more extensive, and the school had pastry instructors come in to teach those weeks. I gravitated towards it, and adored my teachers, Chef Amy DeWitt and Chef Marilyn Kakudo.
Escoffier: Have you worked in the kitchen?
Chef Rosie: My externship was with Black Cat Bistro, with Executive Chef and Owner Eric Skokan. I was actually assigned that gig (you were placed where your main instructor thought you’d fit best back in the CSR days), and my teacher said it was because I had the personality that could take on Eric’s quirks. After school I got a gig at a restaurant up in Lyons on the line. I pretty much did everything from prep, salads, saute, fryer, grill, dishes, floors… you name it… I was on it. Unfortunately my experience there put a damper on my idea of restaurant work. So I quit. Back at the school Dorian Arnold, who used to help students with career services, put in a word for me at Savory Cuisines, a well established Boulder catering company owned and operated by a former CSR student as well, Bob Sargent. I learned a lot there, from everyone. Starting as their “baker/pastry chef” and working every kitchen station possible there, including for a short time co-managing, and even running deliveries at times.
Escoffier: What are your plans for the future?
Chef Rosie: My husband and I have done dinner pairings together, where I prepare the food and he’ll find the right wine or beer that goes well with the dishes. Usually, it’s for a birthday or special occasion that someone wants to host at their home. We would love to do more of those in the future. He also makes his own beer and wine, and is extremely talented at it. We’re always on the lookout for a winery in the Front Range area or Western Slope, which could be a platform for us to bring our two loves together.