Liz Thompson began her culinary career 26 years ago in New York at a time when cooking was an industry dominated by men and not an option for women. Prior to following her passion and entering the food industry, she received her BBA in Business Administration from Emory University in Atlanta and her MBA in Marketing from Fordham University in New York City before being employed as Product Manager for several large consumer packaged goods companies.
With a desire to become a chef, Liz enrolled at the prestigious French Culinary Institute in New York (ICC) and trained by exceptional masters such as world renown Jacques Pepin, a legend in the industry who has received two of the French government's highest honors and in 2004 received France's ultimate civilian recognition, the Legion d’honneur.
Her first position and additional culinary training was an internship at the restaurant “Citrus” in Los Angeles under the guidance of multi award winning Chef Michelle Richard who has won titles such as best restaurant in the United States as well as Best Chef of the Year.
To enhance her knowledge, Liz took a pastry chef position at Checkers Hotel, a 4-star boutique hotel where her stunning work with chocolate won her awards and earned her articles in magazines such as Chocolatier.
With a wealth of experience, Liz and her husband went into business for themselves opening two very successful Las Angeles Restaurants where they received rave reviews with the media including The New York Times, Bon Apetit, Gourmet, Newsweek and were awarded best restaurant in their category 3 years in a row by Las Angeles Magazine.
When the restaurants sold, Liz found a new passion which entailed the education of young people as a Culinary Instructor at the Art Institute of California-Inland Empire teaching pastry and restaurant management classes.
With a wealth of industry knowledge, running successful restaurants, Masters in Business Administration & Marketing, Liz now focuses her time as a consultant to the industry.
Liz travels to China every year on behalf of the China Hotel Association and the Chinese Government to participate in their International Gourmet Food Festival. Whilst in China, Liz helps educate Chinese Hotel and Restaurant chefs how to provide Western style service and food to better serve their Western customers.
Liz said, “I came into an industry dominated by men and succeeded. My advice to young women is join professional organizations like Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and get female support along with Les Dames D’Escoffier, another wonderful female culinary organization. Take advantage of it all, live and breathe it, and keep going forward.
We are in a wonderfully supportive industry full of opportunities that allows us to work as long as we can create.
I continue to create recipes, spend my free time sifting through pastry magazines and following well known pastry chefs on the internet and Facebook, etc. I believe it is very important to continue reading, watching and mixing with experts in the industry to improve one’s own skills, as learning must never stop.’’
Liz is available internationally as a culinary consultant.