From the Cooking Camp to Bouchon Beverly Hills then to the French Laundry???

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 | 12:52 pm

Aric second from right

Aric in 2012

Imagine being 6 years old going to the World famous French Laundry in Napa Valley and writing on the guest book, “One day, I will work here”…. That 6 year old was South Pasadena resident Aric Attebery.

Then in 2007, young Aric enrolled in The Summer Art Academy’s Cooking Camp to begin to make his 6 year old vision a reality.

It was here at the Cooking Camp that Aric met Executive Chef and owner of the Cooking Camp Chris Allen. “I knew immediately that Aric had a special passion for Culinary Arts and joked with him to be sure to mention me when he was on the Oprah show when he became a world famous Chef,” commented Chef Allen.

Attebery stated, “At Cooking Camp Chef Chris encouraged my interest and drive in the industry. I was young at the time, but I discovered that cooking was really fun. Learning the basics really encouraged me to get involved in the industry.”

Aric Focused on Plating

“To this day the one thing that always stuck in my mind about Aric’s Culinary talent was he carved a strawberry into a Dragons head” lamented Chef Allen.

After his Cooking Camp experience, Attebery got his first restaurant job in 2007 at the Abbey in West Hollywood. “My first night of work, they put me right on the line. It was an amazing feeling to feel the rush of being a Chef doing a line service,’ recounted Attebery.

After the Abbey, Attebery moved on to 750 ml in South Pasadena, where he was trained in the Art of Charcuterie (Sausage and Pates) and refining his meat fabrication and classic French knife skills until he could make his next jump.

That next jump came on his 17th birthday when his family went to Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Beverly Hills.

We went to dinner at Bouchon on my 17th birthday about 5 months after it opened. I got a kitchen tour and it was absolutely amazing…and of course my mom brought and gave my resume to the Chef. About a week later they called me to do a stage (tryout)…but, they did not realize that I was only 17,” recalled Attebery.

His first job as a volunteer at Bouchon was “picking” Fine herbs (Chervil-Parsley-Chives and Tarragon) that means removing one leaf at a time and filling a half gallon tub of “picked” leafs.

Attebery recounted the first time meeting Chef Keller, ”I was very nervous, he came in the kitchen and he came by and tapped me on the shoulder and said good job.”

Now, after starting at Bouchon as a volunteer on Saturdays, summer came and Aric got a paid position at the restaurant.

In 2012 he was promoted to Chef de Partie of Garde Manger and Hot Appetizers at Bouchon all while attending Cal Poly Pomona studying Hotel Restaurant Management and a Junior in just his second year of College.

Aric is now eyeing two opportunities in Napa Valley for summer 2013 either working at Ad Hoc or keeping the promise to his 6 year old self and going to work for Thomas Keller at the French Laundry, and a long way from this intuitive comment from his Mom after attending the Cookiing Camp, in 2007

“My son , Aric, was in the afternoon Baking class and loved it! He is 13 years old and this is the most excited he has been about anything in a long time. He said the chefs were wonderful and were very helpful in answering his questions. He asked to attend this program because he thinks he may want to pursue culinary school in the future. He was concerned that this might be more “playtime” than actual instruction but was thrilled when he experienced the professionalism at the school. It’s great to see him passionate and focused. Thank you for a great start to his summer…and possibly a career!”

PJ Attebery



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