Perks of Cooking for Famous People


Being a high profile Chef has it’s fair share of perks, I can honestly proclaim with a level of expertise that celebrities like to eat. In my career I have had the opportunity to meet and cook for many famous people. I thought it would be interesting to compile a list and recall some of the experiences I have had dealing with celebrities from all walks of life.

Barbara Eden

Fresh out of culinary school  I worked at the Gran Cru in Orlando, Florida. It was  French fine dining restaurant located in the Sheraton Plaza Hotel.

One busy night Barbara Eden, the star of “I Dream of Jennie,” the popular TV series from the late 60’s came in for dinner. I recall Barbara Eden ordered a “blue moon” burger. This is a burger with blue cheese inside.

King Albert II of Belgium also dined while I worked at the Gran Cru. He had Belgium Busch beer and Belgium chocolates shipped in so we would have them on hand for him. During my time there we also prepared food for the World Cup Soccer Champions of 1994.

Later, while working at Portobello Yacht Club, I cooked for numerous celebrities since it was located at Walt Disney World, Florida. I prepared meals for Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley while they were still a couple. Football players such as Dan Marino and Lynn Swann.  Baseball players like  Barry Bonds, Roger Clemmens, pitcher for the Yankees and Hall of Famer Don Sutton, who autographed a baseball for me. Roger Clemmens would call me personally to reserve a table. Rock stars like Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons from Kiss, and Simon LeBon and Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran.

Perk 1:  Free Tickets and Back Stage Passes

After telling Simon what a huge fan of Duran Duran my wife was,he autographed a menu and gave her tickets and back stage passes to their show.
Also, rappers, Cypress Hill, pop star, Paula Abdul and comedian, Chevy Chase. I met  the original cat woman, Eartha Kitt, Reverend Jessie Jackson, and former Florida Senator Mel Martinez and actor Tony Danza. I catered Roy Disney’s private jet and also cooked for Michael Eisner.

Perk 2:  Travel to Exotic Places such as Tuscany

I prepared meals for the largest wine producer in Tuscany Frescobaldi Nipozzano, who then asked me to travel to Italy to teachhim. I also met Jed Steele from California, as well as many other wine producers. I cooked for the famous Chef Roy Yamaguchi and also met Wolfgang Puck. I prepared food for Pearl Jams front man Eddie Vedder, who was dining with Rob Zombie, rock star and horror movie producer.
Chuck Mangione

Perk 3:  Your Very Own Concert

Chuck Mangione, world famous trumpet player came in to eat and then serenaded the restaurant with his amazing musical talent.
chef dave - John Travolta's personal chef

Perk 4:  Star Friends & Experience of their luxury lifestyle

Then I met John Travolta and Kelly Preston and worked for them as Private Chef for nearly two years. In that time I cooked for many of his friends, Kirstie Alley, the late great, James Gandalfini, country Stars Tim Mcgraw and Faith Hill, Danny and Jenna Elfman, The Forest Wittaker family, his niece, Nicole Travolta and many of John Travolta’s long time friends from Grease and Saturday Night Fever. While working as John Travolta’s personal Chef, his favorite foods were a filet mignon burger,  chateaux briand and live Maine lobster

Perk 5:  Musical CDs and Souvenirs( autographed of course)

While at a Golf Community in Ocala, I met and fed Latin super star Charo,  John Davison , and the original Price is Right host, Bob Barker. Charo gifted me a CD of her famous classical guitar compostions. Football players such as Dan Marino and Lynn Swann.  Baseball players like  Barry Bonds, Roger Clemmens, pitcher for the Yankees and Hall of Famer Don Sutton, who autographed a baseball for me.
San Diego chargers

Perk 5:  All access pass for the home games

Now in beautiful Southern California I am Executive Chef of Peohe’s restaurant on San Diego Bay. We cater the food for the Chargers while they are training and playing home games. I’ve gotten to know many of the players personally. I also cooked for the infamous Tanya Harding, former Olympian Ice skater gone mad.

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