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Interview with Chef Aviva

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Aviva’s Kitchen is a presentation website for Aviva, one of New York’s most promising chefs. You will also have access to a multitude of unique and delicious recipes that Aviva can prepare for you. The website is extremely pleasant and very inviting to the visitor – you can check it out at:

Recipes Wiki Interview

  • How did you get started with cooking? - Robert

I moved to NY in 1997 and didn't know anyone. My sister lived here, but she was busy and already had a social network, so to keep myself occupied until I met people, I started cooking dinners for myself and trying out new stuck. Aviva 08:31, 5 Jan 2006 (PST)

  • Where have you cooked and where are you currently cooking? - Robert

My first restaurant job was at ChickenBone Cafe in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn. After that I worked at MOMA (Museum for Modern Art) in their Italian Cafe, and now I am at a new restaurant that just opened up in the Meat Packing district of NYC called Arium. I also do catering, personal/private dinners and sell baked goods on the side. Aviva 08:31, 5 Jan 2006 (PST)

  • What kind of training did you go through? - Robert

I went to the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE), formerly Peter Krump's in NYC. I received both my Culinary Arts Certificate and Food Management Certificate from ICE. Aviva 08:31, 5 Jan 2006 (PST)

  • How difficult is it to become a personal chef? - Robert

After you get together your menus and pricing, the most difficult part is getting exposure and obtaining clients. It is very hard to advertise, except online, so word of mouth goes a long way. I don't think it is that difficult to actually become a personal chef, especially if you have a love for cooking. Like any other business, it is hard work and you have to realize that you are a business owner as a personal chef and no one is going to pay your check, like in a corporate job, if you don't get out there and do as much cooking and networking as possible. Aviva 08:31, 5 Jan 2006 (PST)

  • Is there anything that you regret regarding this career? - Robert

Not a thing. I left my 7 year corporate job that gave me the weekends off and a guaranteed 3 week vacation with paid sick days. I work twice as hard now, for much less money than I was making before and no vacation or weekends off, but I am happier now and have no regrets for taking this big life change. It was definately worth it to wake up everyday and do exactly what I love to do! Aviva 08:31, 5 Jan 2006 (PST)

  • Tell us a funny thing that happened to you while on the job. - Robert

Let's wasn't funny to me at the time, but now looking first cooking job was at Chickenbone Cafe when I graduated from ICE. We kept our bread that we used to make the sandwiches in a boxed out part of the wall in the kitchen. Chickenbone had an open kitchen, so everyone could see what we were doing and the bar actually sat patrons right in front of us. Every time I would go to grab the bread during service, about 3 would fall down on me at the same time. At first everyone laughed, but as the night rolled on and I was standing around with crumbs on my head and just looking stupid, the chef finally got mad and made it clear that the bread was not to fall again. It wasn't my fault they had too much bread for a small cubby hole!!! Aviva 08:31, 5 Jan 2006 (PST)

  • You cook all day – so what's your favorite dish? - Robert

I would have to say this Thai Green Curry Coconut Chicken Soup that I only found in one restaurant in NY, which forced me to replicate the recipe on my own so I could eat it more often. It is so good and fattening...everything a good dish should be. Aviva 08:31, 5 Jan 2006 (PST)

  • What do you like to do when not cooking? - Robert

I love to watch movies, dance, write and read. It seems like I'm always cooking though...even in my dreams I'm cooking! Aviva 08:31, 5 Jan 2006 (PST)

  • What's the most memorable thing someone said about your cooking? - Robert

That my biscotti were the best they ever had in their life. That and when people actually tell you they are coming back just to get a dish you created. Aviva 08:31, 5 Jan 2006 (PST)

  • What advice would you give someone interested in becoming a chef? - Robert

Cook, cook and cook some more! You only get better, as in all professions, when you keep at something. Go and trail at your favorite restaurant for a while or take a cooking class at a community college or recreational division of a cooking school and make sure this is what you really like. It's not what it seems like on tv. Everyone is not going to be an Emeril. You have to really love to what you are doing and understand that it takes hard work and dedication. My best advice would be for them to take some classes before diving in to it and talk to a chef one on one. Get the real deal. Aviva 08:31, 5 Jan 2006 (PST)

  • Is there any additional information about your projects or yourself you would like readers to know? - Robert

hmmm...the readers should know that they can go to my website and check out some sample menus for private dinners or dinner parties and that they should come down to Arium at 31 Little West 12th Street and try some of the great food we are cooking. I do the pastries and we have over 50 teas to choose from! Aviva 08:31, 5 Jan 2006 (PST)

See Also

Category:Chef Aviva
Category:Chef Aviva's Recipes
Chef Profile: Aviva

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