Cooking is Hot!

Mar 2013: Hi Everyone, Thank you all for such wonderful responses to my last Newsletter--Where are they Now? The responses were so heartfelt and grateful, I thought you would like to read three of them from past students. It is truly a reminder how important people's culinary education at Tante Marie's was so many years later. Gratefully, Mary Risley, Tante Marie.

margieHello Mary,

I am a 1990 graduate of the professional program. Perhaps you should highlight what some of your “older” grads are doing.

After graduation, I worked at a local winery, Thomas Fogarty, and then in gourmet food retail, Neiman Marcus Palo Alto, while doing some catering. I had my first son in 1991 and a 2nd in 1993. While they were growing up, I volunteered in their schools, often coordinating the Staff Appreciation Luncheon. I hosted many parties at our home, and always used the skills and knowledge I gained through the Tante Marie program. I think you have always been lurking over my shoulder as I dice onions, telling me to keep my thumb back!

Once my sons were older, and I needed to something other than volunteering, in 2007, I started my own personal chef business. It has now grown to include small event catering (the bulk of my business, actually) and interactive dinner parties. I dabble in food writing with my own blog (I took Tori Ritchie’s food writing class several years ago, which I really enjoyed). I hope to be able to spend more time writing as I really enjoy it; I took a food styling/photography class in LA recently and have been taking more photos of my food for my website, newsletter and blog.

I am very proud, when ask where I studied cooking, to say that I attended Tante Marie. You may not remember me, but you, and all the other amazing chefs who taught at Tante Marie, are always present in my memory as I cook and I am very grateful for that. You opened up a whole new world for me!

With Thanks,

Margie MacKenzie

foodtruckHello Mary,

Alan Barretto here. I attended Tante Marie’s Cooking School Boot Camp in Sept of 2011.

I dreamed of opening my own restaurant soon after that. I haven’t achieved that dream yet but I have a food truck for now. It’s the first and only food truck in Subic Bay, Philippines.

The truck was not a real food truck so we had to convert one of our existing delivery trucks into one. We had one of the sides cut off, had stainless steel tables custom made, and connected the whole thing to a generator. We had a printing company make a huge sticker which was placed on the side of the truck and on the doors and front. (the pictures of the panini and the hotdog, as well as the logo are actually huge stickers) As you can see, the final look of the truck is not finished yet but it’s getting there.

My brother and I own and operate it. We sell paninis and Filipino dishes.

We want to try operating in Manila (the big city) someday. We’re still going through a learning curve though.

Thank you, Tante Marie, for everything I learned.

– Alan

lindaThank you Mary for the update.

I took a wedding cake decorating class on two separate weekends and will always remember you walking through the class telling us to listen and learn because someday we will make lots of money selling our cakes!

I am yet to be rich in money but did open my own bakery and I am the only store front cake decorator in our small town of Tehachapi, Ca. where I am rich in friends and fond memories of Tante Marie’s cooking school.

Most Sincerely,

Linda Pettitt