Chef Liz Pelc has a very exciting role within College Chefs as a Special Events Coordinator. Liz, a Chef by trade, brings her Chef skills and organizational talents to event planning. She likes to think of herself not as a special events planner, but as the one who throws the parties!
Chef Liz began her new role as the Special Events Coordinator in March of 2017 after starting with the company as Head Chef of a sorority back in 2015. When Liz was offered her new role in February, she jumped at the chance.
According to GM of Business Operations, Dave Tarrant, “Liz is a huge asset in so many ways. She's not only extremely organized, she is an outstanding Chef and she's a foodie at heart making her a natural fit for our culture…..Liz and Heather (Thomas) will plan over a thousand Special Events this academic year. Generally speaking, what once felt like an untamed burden, the events space has been a huge success for us.”
“Our customers consistently mention our approach to Special Events as something that they're thankful for quite frankly -- aside from the outstanding food we're creating in the kitchen on a normal basis. Whether it be executing a tailgate for 1,000+ or a formal dinner where the color of the tablecloth & napkins is as important as the food, our team gets it and we're ready to plan it,” Tarrant continues.
Chef Liz has always had a heart for food. A career as a chef had always been on her mind, but she was initially steered away due to the workload, which she wasn’t sure she was ready for. At Illinois State University, she studied Nutrition and Dietetics and enjoyed studying food from that perspective. In this time, she kept thinking more and more about food and how much she really loved it. While in school, she got a part time job in the dorm kitchen for the cafeteria and realized she enjoyed hanging out in the kitchen and chopping up fruits and vegetables. She soon decided she didn’t want to waste any more time and signed up for a culinary program in Chicago after the semester was over. Years later, she went back to finish her Bachelor’s degree, after she completed culinary school.
Admittedly, Chef Liz’s biggest struggle throughout her career has been patience. She wanted to rise through the ranks very quickly, but soon realized she had to earn her keep. “A lot of time needs to be put in before you move up to where you want to be,” Liz recalled. Her overcoming and success in the industry comes from her true passion for cooking and serving food. When asked what gets her so excited about the process, Liz added, “I think it’s one of the most personal gestures that we can do towards others. The act of cooking, using your hands, putting stuff together, and giving it to somebody else to put in their mouths for nourishment.”
When asked about her future, Liz has dreams of opening her own business. She and her husband have tried in the past with some success. When asked if she ever thought of trying again, she responded, ”I thought we got that out of our system, but I think my plan for retirement is to have a little café with baked goods and coffee.”
By College Chefs' Cody Sullivan
Watch this video of Chef Liz in action: