Chef/Household Manager

Top 5 Standards:
Elder Care


Will go anywhere for the right position; prefers East Coast 


My first memories of cooking and 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. In my family, each child cooked one night a week, and I couldn’t wait for it to be my turn to cook. I loved it when we had overnight guests and I could make breakfast. Making others feel taken care of made me feel good.

One of my first cooking jobs was at a rustic Massachusetts arts retreat, where, at 20 years old, I ran the kitchen. There is nothing like having 160 people completely dependent on you week in and week out to feed them. There is also nothing like getting it wrong. Learning to avoid problems in the first place is good; knowing how to solve them is equally as important. 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 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 Eisensteins 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.

I love cuisine and I love Household Management, and my career has exemplified my passion for both. 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.

My top Service Standards are Administrative, Housekeeping, Culinary, Entertaining and Elder Care.


  • Trained in the patented Starkey Service Management model
  • Familiar with the use of PC and Mac operating systems
  • Comfortable with Microsoft Office Suite, use of Starkey Proprietary Software for Household Management, ChefTec (a culinary inventory system) and Focus (a hotel and restaurant POS/management tool)
  • Manages schedules, calendars and household budgets for Principals and staff
  • Strong experience managing staff of up to 25
  • Capable of all HR duties associated with staff, including hiring, firing, training and managing time-off requests
  • Knowledgeable with bidding and supervising vendors and subcontractors
  • Handles payroll for staff and outside vendors/subcontractors
  • Takes regular, detailed inventories and works to control household and culinary costs
  • Trains staff in administrative systems
  • Writes daily task sheets and punch lists


  • Capable of zoning a home for cleaning and creating task sheets
  • Cares for high-end antiques, artwork, and other collectibles and valuable items
  • Knowledgeable of specific cleaning and laundry products and their appropriate use
  • Experienced with commercial level sanitation
  • Cares for silver and high-end dishes and silverware


  • Trained Culinary Chef and honors graduate of the Culinary Institute of America
  • Organize culinary events of any size, from intimate small gatherings to large parties
  • Expert on a variety of diets, including but in no way limited to vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, low-carb and farm-to-table
  • Comfortable cooking in the wide panoply of cuisines, from American barbecue, to fine dining French, to vegetarian Indian
  • Substantial experience with food/wine and food/craft beer pairings
  • Substantial experience working in some of the world’s leading restaurants
  • Expert at creating weekly menus based on Principals’ requests, as well as shopping, inventory control and budgeting menus
  • Experienced managing up to 20 people in the kitchen for restaurants or catering events


  • Trained in American plated, Banquet, French, Russian and English styles of service
  • Coordinates and executes formal and informal entertaining events
  • Works with vendors for major events, including caterers and musicians
  • Experienced caterer capable of managing wait staff of any size event
  • Creates a desired ambiance in the home, based on a Principal’s Standards
  • Comfortable creating floral arrangements
  • Management of regular community events for up to 400; managed team of volunteers

Elder Care:

  • Experience dealing with the chronically ill and end-of-life care for elderly Principals suffering from cancer, anorexia, mental health, broken femurs, high blood pressure and stroke
  • Experience managing schedules of doctors and nurses
  • Experience in emergency situations with the elderly
  • Supervision of and assisting 24/7 health care workers, including doctors, hospice workers, physical therapist, massage therapist and other vendors
  • Natural affinity to the elderly and able to clearly communicate with elderly guests or Principals

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 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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