Monica Little

I am a Southern California native who grew up in a house where great food was an everyday occurrence. Both of my parents and my grandparents are lovers of all great food and wine; and both were abundant in most meals. My passion for cooking the food I had always enjoyed began with baking when I was about 20 years old. I started baking every day and would deliver the goods to the law office that I was working at much to everyone's delight. I had an insatiable desire to combine flavors and try this and make that way next time. One day a friend asked me, "Why don't you go to Culinary school?"

In 2003 I graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu program at the CSCA in Pasadena with my AOS in Culinary Arts. During my schooling, my passion seemed to shift more towards the savory side of the kitchen and I excelled, gaining myself a tryout for a position in Chef Walter Manzke's newest venture in Carmel, California. Working with Walter was the greatest opportunity I saw for myself and I soaked up what he taught and showed me like a sponge. He is a culinary genius and I'm so lucky to have worked next to him on the hot line all those nights.

I have had many culinary adventures since then, some working, some pleasure. My travel to Central America, Southeast Asia, and throughout the United States has really opened my eyes even more to the beauty of food in every corner. I appreciate a meal cooked on an overturned metal trash can as much as I do a luxurious range top. Food really is my life. My goal is to bring local, organic, and seasonal to the table whenever possible.

Currently, I work as a consultant to restaurants and have a catering company; Seasonal Creations Catering that cooks for parties from two to 150 guests.