Chef/Estate Manager

Top Standards:
Administrative
Culinary
Housekeeping
Entertaining
Property & Grounds

Early in my childhood, my family’s Christian values began to shape me in what once was a quiet town called Chatsworth, CA. My positive upbringing has heavily influenced the way I think and act to this day. The Fifth Commandment resonated with me early in life: “Honor your Father and Mother that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth” (Exodus 20:12). I still uphold the ethic of honor in everything I do.

These positive values, coupled with an early introduction to household chores, were the seed of my Service Heart. When I was 3, my mother became ill, and from that point on, it was up to my two siblings and me to take responsibility of the home. From a young age, I was cleaning, gardening, mowing the lawn, repairing sprinklers and manicuring the landscape. I was immersed in California’s historic gardens and mansions, often awestruck by the beauty preserved in various neighborhoods of Los Angeles. My father, an aeronautical engineer, traveled often for work, but when he was home, he created spectacular Mexican feasts or grilled the freshest catch from the sea. I was right by his side, learning from the pro.

In 1983, I married, moved to Aspen and now my wife and I have three grown children. Food was my gateway into a fulfilling career in Service. In my various roles as Executive Chef, I also began to develop my wine expertise, specializing in French, Italian and New World wines. That grew into a position managing events and the conference center in Snowmass, CO, where I honed my ability to openly communicate with staff members and create cohesive, highly functioning teams. I also became adept at payroll, scheduling and human resource duties, in addition to bidding, hiring and supervising vendors.

Over the next 10 years, I extended my skills beyond culinary through the seasonal management of Principals’ homes in Aspen, in addition to cooking for them. This involved security checks and home maintenance (plumbing, electrical, snow melt, evening security lighting and alarm tests). I learned precise, detailed communication with vendors, always holding them accountable. I know fine housekeeping and I am squeaky clean in my housekeeping practices, as well as in the kitchens where I work.

After attending Starkey International Institute for Household Management in 2009, Starkey placed me as an Estate Manager with a family in northern California, which was a great experience, confirming that Household/Estate Management was where I wanted to take my career. I learned every aspect of Household Management for two homes, totaling 25,000 square feet: extensive vendor management, opening/closing homes for guests and family and preparing three-course meals daily. I have a deep knowledge of outdoor landscaping and home maintenance, and I liaise with builders, wood makers, art experts and other specialty vendors to ensure proper care and maintenance of historic homes and antiques. I find it most satisfying when I execute a high level of Service and Standards. My nature is nurturing and leadership-driven, and I live and work according to my ethics and values.

My top Service Standards are Administrative, Housekeeping, Culinary, Entertaining and Grounds & Property.

Administrative:

  • Trained in the patented Starkey Service Management Model
  • Trained in hotel and restaurant management
  • Skilled with leading teams of staff and vendors
  • 30 years of experience in HR, including payroll, scheduling, hiring and training
  • 30 years of experience managing employees, vendors and setting up contracts
  • Excellent office organizational skills, including filing, budget management and more
  • Knowledgeable with Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Skilled with developing and maintaining employee manuals and benefits
  • Creates household manuals using Starkey HQ software
  • Skilled with managing purchasing, budgeting and monitoring quality control of food and wine for restaurants, catering companies and in the private home

Housekeeping:

  • Trained in the Starkey Household Service Management Model
  • Experienced with caring for and cleaning fine art, china, crystal and silver
  • Experienced working in a fine art gallery (with Lichtensteins, Warhol and Pollock paintings) and caring for art with high-end smoke alarms and special fan systems
  • Knowledgeable of the fine care and cleaning of antique wood, sculptures, leaded windows, rugs and grandfather clocks
  • Experienced with sanitation management in commercial and exhibition kitchens
  • Develops detailed daily, weekly, monthly and yearly cleaning manuals and trains housekeeping staff in correct housekeeping practices
  • Experienced in using organic and environmentally safe cleaning products
  • Updated environmental health certification in 2008

Culinary:

  • Certified by the American Chefs Federation
  • Trained and certified in nutritional food preparation and cooking
  • Capable of menu planning and daily meals according to a Principal’s palette
  • Trained under famed French chef Madeleine Kaman at Beringer Vineyards, learning classical cuisine and fine wines
  • Trained under White House pastry chef Albert Kumin and learned baking, confection and breads
  • Expert at food and wine pairing
  • Capable of cooking many different styles: light, organic, classical, southwestern, Asian, Mediterranean, French, vegetarian, gluten free and lactose intolerant
  • Familiar with composing menus and multi-course dining experiences for two to 5,000
  • Conducted personal catering for celebrities Seal and Heidi Klum, Felicity Huffman and Bill Macy

Entertaining:

  • Capable of planning and executing casual events as well as executing formal, mirrored service and white glove events
  • Organizes special events from planning stages to execution
  • Experienced bartender and expert at pairing food and wine
  • Experienced managing catering company and consulting on event etiquette
  • Coordinates remote location events and high-end estate events, including wine tasting and charity events for affluent clientele
  • Familiar with cellar and fine wine management: Bordeaux, Burgundy and Cult wines
  • Executes themed parties, cocktail receptions, 14-course meals and comfort food events
  • Experienced managing conference center and serving between 50 to 5,000 guests

Grounds & Property:

  • Conducts daily walkthrough of primary estate; inspects landscape, outdoor lighting, lawns, flower beds, ground cover and trees
  • Experienced meeting and delegating tasks to in-house gardeners and vendors daily
  • Capable of quarterly budgeting of flowers and plants, ordering plant materials and scheduling installation
  • Manages fertilization and pest control maintenance
  • Maintains irrigation and cycled season changes
  • Monitors water consumption and detects leaks; address dry areas
  • Capable of the maintenance of pond filtration systems, aquatic plants and fish feeding
  • Meets with Principal to plan future hardscape/landscape projects
  • Meets with architect and contractors regarding projects
  • Conducts yearly walkthrough with certified arborist; evaluate trees and plants


Testimonial: Testimonial: Jesse Swayze

Thank you for such a wonderful experience. The month spent together was life-changing! Hope our paths cross again sooner than later."
-Jesse Swayze, Certified Household Manager, October 2020

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Testimonial: B. Drummond

There are no words to express how ridiculous these accusations are. This seems like an act of an individual that wants to shame and misjudge a woman that has worked hard to make her name and brand in this country, a woman that has been the aide of and for so many members of the African American community and many others from various countries myself included.

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Testimonial: J. Bates

Starkey International, is the best Estate and Household mngmt program in the country and arguably the world. As a graduate of both the standard and advanced course; as a practicing manager of a 50k sq ft primary and multiple residence operation; having a degree in hotel/restaurant mnmgt and been in military service for 24 years I feel fairly qualified to make these following statements.

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Testimonial: Johnathan RG

You are one of the most the most amazing person I had meet in my life, kind, caring compassionate, I experience this wonderful thing I have learned a lot from you is sad you are experience this situation, as a person of color make no sense for me , we love you Mary Louise Rohl Starkey
Johnathan RG

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Testimonial: T. Brown

Mary Louise Starkey has changed countless people’s lives,many colors,races,poor,rich -she has purpose and is kind helping our great military and the USA and many other nations....she is a family lady raising wonderful children and helping friend,relatives
T. Brown

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Testimonial: J. Stravoscoufis

"You and your team showed me so much kindness and understanding. You also taught me skills that I use every day in every environment...you and your team were a big inspiration in my life and a force for good. I would like to thank you for all your effort and true friendship you showed me. You are a class act and I cherish my memories at Starkey all the time."

J. Stravoscoufis, Starkey Class of 2004

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