Gretchen Losey loves to cook and, for her birthday, she received her dream gift: a Chef for a Day experience at the Culinary Vegetable Institute at The Chef’s Garden. And, what made it even better is that her sister, Kristine Neate, received this as a Christmas gift, so they got to enjoy the experience together.

On February 3, 2017, the sister duo helped Chef Jamie, Chef Matt and their team as they prepared for a vegetable showcase event with potatoes as the theme. “I was amazed by the artistry of their planning,” Gretchen says, “as Jamie shared his vision with us. They were trying all new recipes using their creativity, along with vegetables from The Chef’s Garden and carefully sourced meats and other ingredients. All was carefully prepared from scratch, without a can or ketchup bottle in sight.”

Gretchen and Kristine participated in food preparation throughout the process as the team created a delicious Russian potato tea doll appetizer; potato soup with crispy fried potatoes on top; octopus over potatoes; lamb neck over potatoes; sweet potato cake with gelato; potato truffle – and Gretchen’s personal favorite, a wavy potato salad. “They used all of the traditional flavors,” she explained, “but took it to a new level. I got to eat a serving of each dish but, with the potato salad, I could have eaten six.”

After helping the chefs plate the food, Gretchen and Kristine enjoyed the fruits of their labor, eating the meal accompanied by wine pairings – along with their husbands, since Chef for a Day participants can each invite a guest for the meal portion of the event. “Everyone was so welcoming,” Gretchen says, “and each person is completed vested in what he or she is doing to create a special meal. I was also very impressed by the amount of respect people showed one another in the kitchen.”

Gretchen has worked in the restaurant industry, so she easily recognized the uniqueness of the Culinary Vegetable Institute. “I loved learning all about it,” she says, “as well as more about The Chef’s Garden. Chef for a Day is the ideal gift to give anyone who loves to cook.”

More about Chef for a Day
If this intrigues you, here is more information. You can spend a day in our state-of-the-art kitchen where you will work, side by side, with talented chefs in a high-end culinary atmosphere. The experience will include both demonstrations and hands-on experience, so basic kitchen skills are a necessity. Because you will be standing most of the class, cooking, you’ll want to wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes, with long hair tied back.
For more information about the Chef for a Day experience, please contact us at 419-499-7500 or by email at