Featuring Chef Ralph Pesznecker
Chef Ralph "Pez" Pesznecker is a competition/events chef employed at Timberline Lodge Resort as Evening Operations Manager. Timberline, a Kohnstamm family business since 1955, offers year-round lift-served snowsports and a historic, New Deal-era lodge and is a centerpiece in Oregon's unique and diverse culinary culture. Chef Pez says that as a resort manager, he has learned food and food service from amazing and inspirational culinary professionals. He specializes in remote location culinary events, preparing and presenting cuisine in unfamiliar, original settings that may or may not include kitchen space. His first culinary competition was National Onion Association's 2010 annual meeting at Portland Hilton where he was awarded 3rd place. Dozens of events and competitions followed. He was recently Oregon's Great Albacore Tuna BBQ Challenge 2014 Professional Champpion and Chinook Winds Casino's Beach, Bacon and Brew Fest Professional 2nd Place.Chef Pez started at Timberline in 1981 as a ski instructor. Over the years, he has fielded plenty of questions regarding his path from snowsports trainer at historic Timberline to presenting first-place dishes at food competitions. The bottom line, Chef Pez says, is "I just like creating interesting dishes with really good food and sharing my favorite tasty treats with others."
Featuring Chef Erol
Chef Erol grew up in Southeast Turkey, where he worked on some of the most fertile farms in the world and gained intimate knowledge of how foods come to the table. After graduating from Anatolian Hospitality and Tourism Management Vocational School he studied Economics at University of Anatolia. Erol’s dream came true when he moved to the U.S. in 2002 for a position at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood. He joined Northwest Culinary Institute as a Chef Instructor in 2013. Some of Erol’s Accomplishments include: 2008 USA’s Chef of the Year Western Regional nomination; 2010 Chef of the Year by Chefs De Cuisine Society of Oregon; 2011 Oregon’s Seafood King and representing the State at the National Seafood Cook-off in New Orleans; and many more! Chef Erol is an avid mountaineer and enjoys hiking, backpacking, horseback riding and foraging wild mushrooms in the Northwest wilderness.
Featuring Chef Karla Zambrano
Chef Karla Zambrano was born and raised in sunny San Diego, surrounded by citrus and avocado. All it took was an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas to inspire a great love of baking. Earning a degree from National Culinary in La Mesa, CA, Karla has dedicated herself to the art of baking and pastry. From working graveyard in mom and pop bakeries to working for Food Network’s Keegan Gerhard, Castillo spent the next seven years developing an eclectic style. During this time she combed through the San Diego food scene, honing her craft in the finest establishments the city had to offer, from Gerhard’s D Bar to the historic kitchens of The Westgate Hotel. Looking to settle down, Castillo found her way to Walla Walla, where she currently works for the Walla Walla Bread Company and resides in town with her husband and their dog, Odin.
Featuring Chef Jackie Sharpe
Chef Jackie Sharpe is a commercial and editorial food photographer, food stylist and foodie writer living in Kennewick, WA, but with global travel adventures. She has trained as a food stylist with Delores Custer who graced the photography studios in New York for over 30 years . Jackie has been a photographer for many years but gravitated to food upon her travels to Italy when she photographed a chef in his tiny kitchen, but served a wonderful four course meal to six international guests that turned into a two hour social, just over great food and good conversation. This led to doing more photography story telling of people behind the food in addition to the food itself. She is also a recipe developer working on her first book. In addition, she has written and or photographed for Living TC Magazine, NW Wine Press and World Food Travel Association. Jackie also used her career in marketing, events and training to serve as a Marketing Project Manager for Food Trekking World and has a continued interest in helping food and beverage businesses with marketing. visit her site at www.food4allphotography.com
Featuring Chef Patti Curfman
Chef Patti Curfman was born in Salem, OR, but her life’s work has taken her around the globe. After becoming the first woman to graduate from a culinary apprenticeship with the American Culinary Federation, she worked as a sous chef and later became a private caterer for the likes of Dean Martin, Johnny Wiessmuller and the LPGA tournament as Executive Chef. She then traveled to over a dozen countries to study their cultures and cooking traditions, which opened her eyes and influenced her culinary techniques. After several years gaining experience and honing skills abroad and around the States, Chef Curfman returned to her beloved Pacific Northwest. Her latest business venture, Patti Cakes, Inc., in Stayton, OR has been going strong since 2000. In 2007, Patti revisited her past by teaching and restaurant kitchen design in China in preparation of opening several new restaurants prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Chef Curfman enjoys tending growing herbs and tropical plants, traveling, creating new recipes and cooking for her friends. She was recently featured on the Holiday Baking Championship with the Food Network.