Chef / Food service manager
Barbara has been cooking professionally for nearly twenty years, seventeen of them as Food Service Manager at Central Presbyterian Church in downtown St. Paul. In this capacity, she plans the menus and oversees the preparation of the food for the weekly Wednesday Outreach Lunches, the monthly Congregational Sunday Lunches and Session Dinners, the Women of Central functions, as well as for weddings, funerals, and other special events.
Raised in a tradition of good food and good cooking, Barb is a self-taught chef who honed her skills under the tutelage of Chef Lisa Retamosza. With a vivid and colorful culinary imagination and a love of fresh ingredients, Barb uses old flavors in new settings and gives new faces to old favorites. And, for Barb, presentation is serious business. This combination takes what one used to think of as comfort food and raises it to a level acceptable at any event, no matter how proper or informal. Perhaps Barb’s innovations are most apparent in her specialty – her breads.
In addition to her work at Central Presbyterian, Barb partners with Susan Hankerson, in Cottage Gourmets, a catering firm on the rise that offers “food for the events in your life.”
Cottage Gourmets caters small and large events, including monthly season-inspired dinners at Fairhaven Farm just north of South Haven, MN. For further information visit their website www.cottagegourmets.com or call 320-236-7685.
Among her other interests, Barb owns and operates the landscape design firm BlueStem Gardens (320-236-7743).
Barb and her husband, Tom, live on West Lake Sylvia in South Haven, MN. They have three grown sons and two (almost three) grandchildren.