About Culinary Excellence
Meet the Family
Christian H. - Chef/Owner
Christian was the head of Pediatric Cardiology at Children’s Hospital Oakland for 14 years, however after suffering a near death episode, he decided life was just too short, and he wanted to do something else that he loved. With that in mind he went back to school at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. After finish at the CCA, he realized that he had a true passion for pastry, so he decided to further his training at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in St. Helena, Napa where he spent a year studying pastry. After his time at the CIA he felt that if he truly wanted to learn pastry there was only one place in the world he could really go to learn it properly and that was Paris. He attended Ecole le Notre in Paris, France, where he spent a year studying and learning the finer points of pastry. Upon returning to the states in 2004 Chris was eager to get right to work so he bought Culinary Excellence from a sweet German couple that was ready to retire. Since purchasing the company it has done nothing but grow and expand from a small 4,000 square foot operation to a 14,000 square foot operation which truly can be called a one stop shop. Chris loves what he does and can't wait to continue the adventure. While he may be a trained chef and patisserie he still has some guilty pleasures...Twinkies and Craft Boxed Mac N' Cheese!!
Jessica M. - Event Coordinator/Office Manager
Jessica graduated from Chapman University in the Spring of 2010 with her degree in vocal performance. She then went on to receive her masters from Oklahoma City University in 2012 in Opera Performance. While singing has always and will always be a passion of hers, it doesn't quite pay the bills. She has worked with Culinary Excellence since high school in many different capacities (server, bar tender, kitchen, captain.) When she finished her degrees she knew she had a desire to continue helping clients celebrate their life milestones. She takes great pleasure in making sure her clients days are stress free and spectacular. Her childhood favorite was (and still is) liverwurst on wonder bread. Don't worry though she is well versed on world wide cuisines, and goes to a Moroccan restaurant every year for her birthday.
Samanta I. - Event Coordinator
Sam is so excited to be a part of the Culinary Excellence Team! She received her degree in art, and worked in the framing industry when she was first out of school. She always knew she would like to be in a position that used more of her background in the arts, which is just one of the many reasons she is a perfect fit for Culinary Excellence. From her fun spunky personality, to her ability to listen to everyone, to her incredible artistry with florals, and her eye for design we are so excited to have her!
Christopher C. - Sous Chef
Christopher joined the CE team two years ago, and is so excited about being able to work with such a tight knit group. He is looking forward to bringing new items and dishes to the menu, as well as using seasonal local fresh ingedients. He has a wonderful loving family and kids, and can't wait to be able to embark on a new journey. He's excited for you to try his amazing food at one of our complimentary tastings.
Juan I. - Warehouse Worker
Juan joined the Culinary Excellence team about six months ago now, and he has fit in perfectly! He is great at helping to bring the visions our coordinators have to life. No vision is too big, or to bizarre for him to bring it to life. He is a firm believer that with the right team it is more than just a "team," it is a friendship, a family if you will, and this team is just that. For fun her loves to hike, and his favorite food is jambalaya.
LaShun F. - Warehouse Worker
LaShun is our newest addition to the family, and he is so increibly handy! He gets great enjoyment from keeping everything clean and organized which is such a help to all of us in the craziness that is events!
Margarita H. - Dishwasher
Margarita just celebrated her third year with Culinary Excellence! She loves being in the kitchen with the team every week, and is an integral part of the machine in there! She is lighting fast, and organized and is always bring new and fun ideas to the team! Her favorite season is Spring!
Jazmin S. - Dishwasher
Jazmin came to Culinary Excellence about a year ago, and she is incredibly fast with dishes. She keeps us flowing when we have a quick turn around between event. We love having her as part of the family. Her favorite cuisine is Italian.
Milo H. - Family Mascot
Milo is a 3 year old Bernese Mountain dog and while he can be hyper at times he is nothing but a lover. He keeps us all young and active and helps us to unwind when we are getting busy. His favorite cuisine is Denta Chew Bones.