STACEY KLAFF, Martial Chef Catering
My name is Stacey Klaff and I’m 32 years old. I’ve been cooking since the ripe age of 5 and haven’t stopped. Throughout high school I took 4 years of culinary classes and as a Sophomore I was accepted to the Art Institute of Phoenix. I had the privilege of being able to take summer workshops and classes at the Art Institute before I even started school and was able to establish some incredible relationships with the chefs there before I even began attending school. I also received a James Beard Scholarship and a Woman Chefs and Restaurateurs scholarship upon graduating high school.
I graduated with honors from the Art Institute of Phoenix in December of 2003 and received the award of Best Portfolio upon graduation. Afterwards, I did an intense externship with Master Chef Walter Leible, Certified Executive Chef Eric Watson and Certified Pastry Chef JoAnn Ayers at the school, mostly assisting with the classes as a makeshift teacher’s assistant and also helping in the day to day operations of the Gallery Cafe, a student-run restaurant.
After graduating I made my way through several different culinary venues: Executive Chef at 21 years of age at a wine and jazz bar, Executive Chef of a corporate catering company, garde manger chef of a unique concept called Wild Greens at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, culinary arts teacher at Cactus High School, and most recently Head Chef for Professional Sports Catering as the chef for the Seattle Mariners baseball team for Spring Training.
When I’m not busy as a chef by day, I’m a martial artist by night. So my goal is to expand my business as the Martial Chef Catering.I’ve been training in martial arts for the last 26 years and it’s a family business run by my Dad and I hence the name Martial Chef Catering. Yume Dojo Martial Arts School operates out of Glendale, AZ and we have been in operation since the early 90’s. Not only am I the assistant head instructor, but I’m a 5th degree black belt and have taught several seminars all over the United States and specialize in female self-defense, kids classes, and more.
That’s pretty much me in a nutshell:
Chef by day, dangerous martial artist by night!!!