I’m Olivia and I’ve been working as a chef-for-hire cooking, baking, and catering the last 18 years for restaurants, camps, conference centers, retreats, weddings, and families. I’ve gotten my culinary education through all the places I’ve worked and though I’ve never been to culinary school, sometimes I want to learn how to make sushi or sour dough from an expert.

What I Cook

Right now I run a private chef business called The Olive Tree. The pay is good and I can work around the needs of my two small children. My menu offers a lot of Mediterranean and Asian flavors, vegetarian specialties, and comfort foods with a twist.

Although it’s exciting following complicated recipes from magazines and cookbooks, I really love cooking with what I’ve got, using some of this and that to create divine new dishes.

What To Bring

I'm going to the shower of someone having her second baby. Aside from wanting to wish my friend well with her expanding brood, a big draw for me is that it's a potluck and a bunch of foodies are coming. They know I'm a professional chef, so the pressure’s on.

I'm going to bring an hors d'oeuvre inspired by a dish I used to make for breakfast: steamed white rice and crispy fried eggs with a dollop of spicy, salty mango pickle from the Asian market. The combination was addictive and led to this invention:

Secret Ingredient Deviled Eggs

  • 12 eggs
  • 2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 level tablespoon jarred mango pickle (spicy or mild)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Boil eggs in a pan with water to cover. Remove from heat and cover with a lid. After 10 minutes, rinse the eggs in cold water and peel. Slice them in half and remove (and save) the yolks. Briefly blend the mango pickle, mayo, and eggs in a food processor. Fill the whites with the mixture using two small spoons. Top with cilantro. Serve as is or chilled.