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Spotlight On: Cooking With Drea

Spotlight On:
Cooking with Drea

As part of our ongoing series, we are interviewing people of interest in the area who are having a positive impact on our community.

This time, we reached out to Andrea Haggar of Cooking with Drea!

cooking with drea
Photo courtesy of Andrea Haggar

Can you please tell me a little bit about your cooking background?

My career in culinary services over the last 17 years has spanned multiple styles of cooking in many different locations. My love for cooking started when I was a little girl spending time with my grandmother in her kitchen and Egyptian grocery market near Los Angeles. Since then I’ve graduated culinary school and worked as a chef in fine dining restaurants, four diamond hotels, large event catering companies, and have also been a consultant for concept bars and restaurants just getting off the ground. I am classically trained in French cuisine and also have dabbled in handmade pastas, high end baking, various Asian cuisine styles, and of course maintained a love for Mediterranean and middle eastern foods. I have a passion for food and the magical experience of sharing a good meal with people you care about. In my personal time I love to travel and continue learning and experimenting with all of the new cooking trends around the world. My goal is to bring what I love and share unique dining experiences with my clients.

cooking with drea
Photo courtesy of Andrea Haggar

What exactly is Cooking With Drea?

Cooking With Drea is my concept where I house my restaurant consulting, private chef and event experiences, and adult culinary classes. I wanted a single point where people interested in any of my services could see what the other services I offer and contact me when interested. As with all small businesses it has always been and probably will always be a work in progress as I update and adapt it to meet my clients’ needs.

The underlying goal of Cooking With Drea is to deliver exceptional culinary experiences in your own home or rental and to show people that it is indeed possible for normal folks to create spectacular meals on their own. Just like learning an instrument or any other skill, becoming a chef takes years of experience and practice; in my adult classes I try to distill this down to the basic concepts and skills you need to wow your friends and family.

For the private chef portion of Cooking With Drea my goal is to tailor the menu and experience for each booking. Typically, clients will contact me with the date(s) they would like to book and then we work together to craft the menu according to their tastes and vibe. I have done everything from superbowl parties to five course dinners with champagne and caviar pairings. Working with clients to develop the menu is one of the most rewarding aspects of Cooking With Drea. Some clients are open to all suggestions, some have always wanted to try a certain dish they weren’t comfortable making at home. Both are my pleasure to explore with clients and deliver in the comfort of their home or rental. All they need is a kitchen and we will make it work!

cooking with drea
Photo courtesy of Andrea Haggar

You offer culinary classes. Please tell me more about that.

The adult cooking classes are a relatively new part of Cooking With Drea. I’ve worked with the Big Pine Unified School system and JKBS through ICOE, and as someone who enjoys taking culinary classes when I travel abroad, I wanted to bring something similar to our community in collaboration with the County Office of Education. So far we have offered a few classes covering handmade pastas, Thanksgiving sides, and chocolate truffles, and the fourth “Sushi Masterclass” is coming up in March and is already fully booked. With the amazing turnout I’ve seen so far, my hope is to continue offering different classes throughout the year until we are holding 1-2 per month. I also offer these classes privately in a home or rental.

And what about your private chef option?

The private chef side of Cooking With Drea can best be described as a boutique culinary experience for clients in their own home or vacation rental. In addition to what we already described, I wanted to highlight again the bespoke nature of the menu. I’ve had clients see a dish or technique on TV or in a movie and ask if that is something we can add to the menu. The answer is most probably yes we can! It doesn’t all have to be fine dining and cutting edge gastronomy though. Sometimes all we need is a great steak or some chicken wings and I am here for it. Developing the menu together is the best way for me to find out what you are looking for and then let me take care of the rest!

cooking with drea
Photo courtesy of Andrea Haggar

What else would you like to tell us about Cooking With Drea?

I have recently expanded the private chef experience north to Lake Tahoe and have been booking out into the summer already so if people are interested it’s best to contact me as soon as they know the date they’d like to book my services.

Make sure to include the cookingwithdrea.com website and your email to book!

A special thank you to Andrea for answering our questions!

Do you have a local business you would like to promote? Contact [email protected].

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