Growing up my family sport was food. My great uncle had a seafood restaurant in Boston. My grandmother was the food manager at the Naval Hospital there. So good food was an event that brought everybody together.
We did clam bakes and holiday baking! When on road trips we found new tastes and ingredients! We catered our own events up to 100 people!
When I lived in Greece it was cold, so I started baking in my studio. In time I began to make American cakes and bagels, which turned into Cindy’s Baking Cakes for 10 years.
The journey to now includes restaurant chef roles in Mykonos, Rhodes, Houston, and San Diego. I also worked on the USS Midway as weekend chef, as well as a few popular restaurants and cafes in San Diego.
Agia Paraskevi, Athens Greece - 1994
Cindy’s Baking Cakes
Making American cakes with Greek ingredients. It was the beginning of joining the European Union and there was a demand for different.
I made bagels for the Marriott Hotel, catered Embassy dinners, and functions at the American School.
My baked goods made their way all around to places like Mykonos, Paros and many Greek restaurants.
Provost, UT - 2007
I worked at The Fantail Café when it just opened as a weekend Breakfast Chef, making food for the overnighters around 200 people or so! My family was big on morning coffee. My whole life from the age of 16 I had an early morning coffee and or breakfast with friends. In every neighborhood I lived in, I found a place that was cozy and inviting. When I came to San Diego I worked in cafes and restaurants, enjoying the conversation as much as the coffee. I even cooked breakfast for my neighbors on Saturdays in Coronado for 7-8 years!
Sharing coffee, food and stories are what life is about.
San Diego, CA - 2008
Café Lulu and Cafe Crema
Scottsdale, is Café Lulu and Cafe Crema. I was breakfast barista and manager in Locations like the Gaslamp, La Jolla, Encinitas, Pacific Beach. Lots of Coffee, Lots of stories. Would get up at dawn, get the tables ready, put on the coffee, and await the early birds. In Encinitas, I would get a bus from the local old folk’s home. How going out for just a cup of coffee made them smile and perk up! A poem that describes it best:
by Joseph Yzrael
Trembling fingers hold
This brimming cup.
Coffee staring blankly.
Bitter taste invades.
My tongue, no longer
Tastes. Scent of bliss
Lingers in my veins.
I drink too soon, cup
Upends, its contents
Spilled in my lap. Reflected
My soul and my heart.
Miami, FL - 1992
Food Managers License
For a while I was at the Athens Market Booth in Convention Center beside the Café. We worked at major conventions, especially Comicon! Met so many fascinating folks besides the celebrities!
A food manager's license involves studying food safety. It is a scientific method/discipline which has specific rules for handling, the preparation, and storage of food. When large gatherings happen, this is key.
The experiences I had while working professionally helped me in organizing large community events. I find learning new skills are ways to assist in making an impact in our communities. I worked on getting donations for charities and neighborhood events because of this experience.