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Life & Work with Brenda Backal

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brenda Backal.

Hi Brenda, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I became a Chef by accident. I have always loved to cook for others so I began making churros and funnel cakes for my husband’s friends for company picnics and birthdays. Soon more orders began pouring in and I realized that nothing brought me more joy than people enjoying my food.

From there, I went on to study at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, graduating with my honors degree in Patisserie Baking. I then extended my knowledge of culinary skills by training with different chefs from around the world, training as a Sous Chef, and eventually moving up to the Executive Chef at various Top Chef restuarants. My career has put me alongside some of the best chefs in the business! Today, I am a personal chef, private chef, caterer, pastry chef, and I also teach cooking classes to bring my love of the culinary arts to as many people as I can. I also offer made to order shipments of my famous scones, cookies, tortillas mole, salsa, and more!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
When I started my business, my kids were still in school so I had to balance trying to launch a new business with two kids to take care of. Right before the pandemic, we finally had at least a year of weddings and events lined up so when that was no longer possible it really took a toll. When you aren’t a brick and mortar restaurant, it is extremely difficult to develop a clientele and momentum. Add on top of that that when things shut down, we had to cook out of our home kitchen making it even more difficult to move forward. It took learning a lot of new skills and adapting to the new needs of clients that eventually led to my focusing on my personal chef business and made to order food. The struggles along the way are a part of the creative chef journey and I always welcome the challenges!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My work as a personal chef is my passion. I get to personally bring the quality and experience of restaurant dining to the comforts of your own home. I take care of all the shopping, prep, cooking, and serve you and your guests at your ease. And the best part is that you don’t even have to clean up afterwards and nothing will go to waste! I package all of the leftovers and (if applicable) groceries that we didn’t use for you to enjoy later. What really sets me apart is my love for discovery and different cuisines! I may be classicaly trained and an expert in Mexican food, but I also love French, Italian, Gastropub, Asian, or any other cuisine that excites you! You name it and I will make it!

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
Becoming a chef while having kids was one of the riskiest things I ever did. On top of that I also entered the food truck industry a few years into my career, right before the pandemic. But I don’t think anyone becomes a chef if they don’t like risk-taking. It is a lot of restuarant hopping and freelance work that you can never really predict, with a schedule that is also unpredictable once the job is secure. But that is part of the fun isn’t it? As chefs, we risk things every day when we try new flavors and new recipes. Sure sometimes things don’t work out, but that is a part of the journey.

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