Bev Shaffer, the current president of the Cleveland chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, has it rough. She gets to develop recipes and play with world-class blenders all day long, and then go home and enjoy a glass of wine all night long while working on her next cookbook (her sixth!)…which is all about chocolate.
“Each year is a new adventure for me,” says Bev, who brings 20+ years’ experience to her role as a chef and recipe development specialist for Vitamix at their world headquarters. “I love the fact that I can enjoy my job and life each and every day.”
As an afterthought, she also confesses that she particularly loves the diversity of food as well, which probably stemmed from when she was young. “I still remember picking up Italian bread still warm from the bakery to go with our pot of Hungarian soup with homemade noodles simmering at home,” reminisces Bev. “Then after dinner, my dad would take me to get a coffee ice cream cone with chocolate jimmies. The best!”
She says her mom and aunts influenced her love of food the most, which carries over into the way she entertains today, be it a casual brunch for four or an outdoor dinner for a crowd.
When asked what advice she would give someone just starting out in a culinary career, she offers, “Explore, develop a spectacular work ethic, don’t be too sensitive, and don’t expect your own TV show after just one year of working as a chef. It’s not all about the recognition.”
Bev first heard about LDEI from Julia Child and has been a member since the inception of the Cleveland chapter. What does she enjoy most about being a member? “The diversity of our members,” she answers without a moment’s hesitation.
Learn more about Bev as she shares some fun and interesting insights about herself.
Of all the places you’ve traveled, where did you have the best food? It’s a toss-up between barbecued stingray in Singapore at a food stand and baked bread fresh from a cave oven that a chef showed me how to make in Kenya, Africa.
What’s your favorite restaurant and what do you usually order there? There are so many great ones, it’s difficult to single out just one…but right up there is Flying Fig and Fahrenheit. I love their apps!
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten? Zebra.
What’s your favorite comfort food? Twizzlers!
Any favorite indulgences? Whole fruit margaritas with homemade guac and salsa.
What’s your favorite snack? Roasted red pepper hummus.
What’s your go-to, quick-and-easy dinner? Salmon marinated in soy sauce and a unique honey, pan seared and finished in the oven, served with a very large salad.
What’s one ingredient you can’t live without? Chocolate.
Name 3 things that are always in your refrigerator. Organic Valley unsalted butter (an homage to Julia), avocado, and sparkling water.
Name 3 gadgets you can’t live without. Vitamix blender, microplane, and a very sharp paring knife.