At the early age of four, Chef Vahé accompanied his European immigrant grandfather to the old Randolph Street market where he soaked up the ritual of old-world style food shopping. At the market, he found beauty and wonder in the simplicity of it all -- selecting fresh, top quality food and ingredients (fruits and vegetables from the local sellers, bread from a baker, meat from a butcher, and fish and shellfish from a fishmonger) to bring home to the table. When he and his grandfather returned home, he was inspired by the love of cooking and baking his mother and grandmother displayed day after day in the kitchen. Vahé absorbed an appreciation of quality ingredients, the love of food, and the attention to detail and technique. The culinary arts via the Old World sums up his approach to his work, and he strives to bring that same love of food to the tables of all whom he serves.
Chef Vahé draws on a myriad of experience in the Culinary and Hospitality Industry. After getting his B.A. at DePaul, in 1997 Vahé completed an Associate’s degree in Applied Arts and Sciences in Culinary Arts from the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago (now known as Le Cordon Bleu) with honors. During culinary school, he made many connections with fellow students and instructors, and worked outside of school at several valuable jobs in the industry. He earned a Certificate in Professional Cooking, Certificate in Baking/Pastry Production, Certificate in Restaurant Management, and a Certificate in Nutrition by the Illinois Restaurant Association. Early experience found him moving up through seemingly every position in dining, learning skills and details to bolster his love of food. After leaving the industry on a full-time basis, he continued to cook for friends and family and did Hospitality Consultant work with businesses in the food industry. In all, Vahé has over thirty years' experience cooking for family and friends and ten of those years from professional work in the Hospitality and Culinary field.
Chef Vahé’s sensitivities to specific needs grew initially from an extended volunteer program he served in Texas and Mexico. There, he assisted in the management of the kitchen, and cooked for displaced, homeless, and poor families. Through personal experiences preparing food for friends and family, he has knowledge and understanding of menu planning and cooking for people with special needs, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and food allergies. In addition, he has done diets and menu planning for expectant mothers, children, and prepared organic baby food.
Chef Vahé's initial food upbringing was around the table, where three generations -- a mix of Old World immigrants and first-generation Americans -- would gather nightly and dine on lovingly prepared, fresh food bought at local markets. It is this same simple idea that fuels his passion now, to bring the best ingredients, tailored menus, and flavorful dishes to your table, so you and your family and friends enjoy the simple pleasures of great food.
ABOUT CHEF VAHÉ
• B.A. Liberal Arts DePaul University, 1990.
• Associates in Applied Arts and Sciences in Culinary Arts from CHIC, now known as Le Cordon Bleu, Chicago (graduated with honors) 1997.
• Certificate in Professional Cooking and Baking/Pastry Production.
• Certified in Nutrition by the Illinois Restaurant Association.
• Certified in Menu Planning by the National Restaurant Association.
• Certificate in Hospitality Management.
• Certified in Sanitation by the State of Illinois, 2012.
• Licensed as a Personal Chef and carries Personal Chef Liability insurance.
Chef Vahé lives with his wife and two sons in Wilmette, Ill.