Andrea Rappaport, Chef-Owner of Bijou Catering
A morsel about me: my love of cooking was sparked at an early age, with two major forces propelling it. The first was my grandmother, who lovingly took the time to teach me how to prepare recipes handed down by her grandmother, and the second, my food obsessed parents, who brought me and my brother to every hot Los Angeles restaurant from the time we were in high chairs.
As a child I spent my free time cooking with friends, and at the age of sixteen, I acquired my first job working at a specialty food shop. I left home to attend college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and although I pursued a degree in sociology, I found that I was much more focused on, and passionate about, cooking. I started working in the kitchen at one of the top restaurants in Madison, L’Etoile, and by my senior year it was apparent that being a chef was my calling. After graduation, I moved to New York to attend the Culinary Institute of America. From there I went to work at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago restaurant, in Hollywood, and then a couple of years later, was asked to be part of the opening crew of Spago, Las Vegas.
After I’d had my fill of Las Vegas, I came to San Francisco to be the executive chef at the charming, neighborhood restaurant Zinzino. In my six years as chef there, I received sparkling reviews from customers and food critics alike, and was named a Rising Star Chef by the San Francisco Examiner, as well as being invited to be a guest chef at the James Beard House, as part of their Chef Discovery Series.
When I finally burned out on chaotic restaurant life, I shifted gears and became the private chef for a family in Silicon Valley. I cooked everything from baby food to multi-course, fine dining tasting menus, but after more than a decade there, I was craving the creativity and freedom of being my own boss. I launched Bijou Catering, in November 2014, to fill what I feel is an untapped niche, a caterer who only focuses on smaller events. I love the idea of running a business where I am in complete control, and where I am involved in every step of the process, from designing the menu to drying and putting away the dishes.
Activities and Accomplishments:
CCD Innovation Chef's Council -product development
Lotus Eater SF pop-up dinners- co-creator/chef
Castlemont Elementary School Garden, Campbell, CA -volunteer cooking instructor
San Francisco Book Review- cookbook reviewer
James Beard House, New York, NY Discovery Series -guest chef
San Francisco Examiner -named one of the "Ten Best Chefs You Don't Know Yet"
Bay Cafe- guest chef, two episodes