Bringing joy to all those around her, while inspiring more people than she realizes. Learn more about who Chef Erin is below, and follow her journey as she continues to be a trailblazer.
Sanitation Officer / Chef Instructor
“My passion of culinary come from within, I just always knew!”
The word chef means different things to different people and for some it is more than just a profession. Chef Erin, better known as Chef E takes her profession seriously and its not something that she hides from the world. If you ask her when she wanted the title of chef before her name she would tell you “I wanted to be a chef since I baked my first cookies at 4”. By the tender age of 10 she was already entering herself into cooking contests and winning none the less, so I think it’s safe to say following her heart worked out well. Some have a raw talent for cooking like Erin, but she took that a step further and invested in herself by getting her Culinary Arts Degree as well. Being the go getter that she is she attended Job Corps Culinary Program at 16, later attending CSCA Le Cordon Bleu as well as completing Oxnard College Hotel and Restaurant Program. Some would ask why should you go so such lengths when you already have the skills, but for Erin it’s because she respects the art of cooking and understood that by having her foundation nothing could stop her. One thing she didn’t see was that her passion, determination, and willingness to help others with no hesitation would make her one of the best Culinary Arts Instructor in California.
Before going into teaching Chef E once again built up a strong foundation, but this time it came in the form of real world experience and cooking. “I started working in my first restaurant at 15, as soon as I could get a work permit”. She later went on to work at several different restaurants and did catering for many years as well. Always the go getter and thinking ahead of her peers she started opening businesses and also became a personal chef in Hollywood and Redlands. “I opened Maids Quarters Tea House & Patisserie, and my own culinary program The Cooking Corner, where I taught ages 3 to adults”. All of this trailblazing wasn’t met without resistance though, as a woman in a predominately male industry she had to fight, but of course it just made her stronger. “This chef was very inspiring to me, we did an 8 course French meal, in The Ojai Valley of CA. Took about 1 to 1 1/2 years in advance to eat at The Coolibah. He was a mean French chef that loved to yell and would always tell me that I would never work in a kitchen because that was a man’s job! Hahaha proved him wrong!” Did she ever, turning this negative into a positive as she does her next step was conquering restaurants until the scheduling caught up with her.
The schedule of a full time chef is hard already, now add being a mother of 5 and you are juggling a lot more that most can handle. First and foremost you have to have self care so you take care of everyone else Erin has a regimen, “wear great shoes, remember to eat, lots of stress relieving walking and always get a pedicure”. The next step was to normalize her life so she could be the best mom and chef combo so that mean normal hours. Teaching full time from 2004 – 2017 at International Culinary Academy at AI, Job Corp Advanced Culinary Program San Francisco, and Cooking Corner to name a few she left all of that in 2017 to teach on a bigger scale. Becoming one of the first America’s Test Kitchen Chef Instructors on Holland America Cruise line she performs full production shows teaching hundreds daily. At an age that I don’t disclose for my personal safety, most would slow down but its a huge bet that Chef E is just getting started!
Follow Chef Erin
Instagram – erin5montgomery
Facebook – Erin Montgomery