Certified Estate Manager/Chef
I have been a private service professional for about a third oof my 30-odd year professional life in hospitality. I have a passion for what I do, and have never considered not being in hospitality. My first memories of service happened in childhood. I remember making dinner with my older brother for our parents when I was only 5 and taking such pride in it. I also recall the magic of my grandfather’s club: napkin folds, polished silver, and professional service. I paid attention to the right way to set a table and found myself frustrated with my little brother, who would put everything in the wrong place.
One of my first cooking jobs was at a rustic Massachusetts arts retreat, where, at 20 years old, I ran the kitchen. I have a lifelong relationship with the arts facility, starting as a child and recently spending six years on the Board of Directors. Working at Pinewoods taught me an acute awareness for the needs of others. My experiences there are the foundation of who I am professionally, and I continue to serve the facility as board member. I have served on the boards of other arts nonprofits, and understand the value of philanthropy, which in itself is a form of service.
I attended the Culinary Institute of America, which led to positions in world-class restaurants and hotels. On my first day on the job at La Grenouille, the last of the old guard “Grande Dames” of New York City, every waiter stopped, introduced himself and shook my hand. I had never experienced such civility in the workplace, and it is a model that I have aspired to ever since. La Grenouille has been justifiably awarded a James Beard Award for service. Fantastic service flowed from how the staff was treated and how the staff treated each other.
After working at The Jefferson, a luxury hotel in downtown Washington, DC, I moved into private service, initially as a chef, but then growing into a Household Manager. The first family I worked for was that of Kenneth Feld, the owner of Feld Entertainment. It was an exciting home to serve, as the family frequently entertained guests, and I wore both hats as chef and formal server. They loved being surprised and were excited by new things, and I grew tremendously.
Eventually, I would go to work for Julian and Elizabeth Eisenstein, both retired professors. I spent four and half years with them. I then attended Starkey International Institute for Household Management to fine-tune my Household Management skills. I returned to the Eisenstein’s fulltime several years later when they were in their 90s. They needed someone they trusted, and this job became the most profound work I have ever had. When they passed away, I continued to work for the estate, managing the complexities of closing the home. There was mutual respect between us, something that is crucial for any service relationship.
Currently, I work as part of a team of chefs serving the needs of a family here in DC area. . While I do not need to leave the position, I would like to get back to household and estate management. My management skills stem from a lifetime of serving others and a belief that bringing happiness to others matters. I am the go-to person within a home, paying attention to every minute detail and exceeding my principals’ expectations. I look forward to taking the depth of my knowledge to my next employers.