Name: Karen Robinson (Martin)
Certification: Certified Chef de Cuisine (pending written exam score)
Present Employment: Le Cordon Bleu – Orlando
Previous Employment: Levy Restaurants
Special Awards: Food Truck judge award, Tampa J
Schooling/Training: Johnson & Wales University
Mentor Chefs: Chef Ricardo Deleon (and chefs such as Chef Klaus Friedenreich and Chef Reimund Pitz)
How did these Chefs impact your career? Chef Rick was the first chef that took me under his wing and taught a great deal about cooking. He taught me the difference between a good chef and a great chef is 15 minutes. That extra 15 minutes you take to read a cookbook or a food magazine or learn about a new ingredient. Chef Klaus and Chef Pitz, in the short time, I admire their passion and their integrity to the craft.
Favorite dishes to prepare: Mushroom Risotto
Favorite foods to eat: Curry Chicken
Favorite cookbook? Anything by Thomas Keller and Rick Bayless
Ingredients you could not live without? Mushrooms and roasted garlic, spices
What gives you pleasure on the job every day? Sharing what I know about food, is there a job better than that?
What was your worst disaster in the kitchen? On game day at Levy, all the guys in our area did not show up. It was just myself and Chef Rick.
How did you turn it around? We put our games faces on and got it done.
What advice do you have for new Culinarians? Read everything, absorb everything and cook like there’s no tomorrow.