The City Kitchen is a boutique culinary event company and food blog based in San Francisco. It is a way for me to reach people in the Bay Area, to share recipes, knowledge and techniques and to make cooking and entertaining fun. I hope that you enjoy The City Kitchen as much as I do! Meet the chef’s that help make The City Kitchen run smoothly…
I grew up in a household full of parties. One of my earliest memories is of lying in my bedroom, listening to a backyard full of people laughing and talking into the wee hours. My mother is a gifted hostess and party planner, and my father loves to share wine from his cellar. From the time we were little, my brother, sister and I were taught how to pass hors d’oeuvres, fill wine glasses and know all about the Godiva chocolates served at the end of a party. My mother made dinner for our family every night and always let me help her in the kitchen. She supported my messes and creativity with a lot of laughter and hugs.
I started working in a professional kitchen when I was 16 years old, making pasta and bread for an Italian restaurant after school. I graduated from college with a Journalism degree and thought I wanted to be a food and travel writer. So, I went to The French Culinary Institute in New York City to learn serious techniques and fell in love with the kitchen all over again. I got two degrees from The FCI, a classic culinary degree and a pastry degree, and have worked at restaurants in Manhattan, Ithaca NY, Park City UT, and for a catering company in East Hampton.
By the time I moved to San Francisco I was tired of kitchen hours, cramped quarters and small paychecks. After completing a short wine program at The CIA in Napa, I started a little company called Mariposa Kitchen and began working as a private chef and caterer. I also started teaching cooking classes in my home. Two years later, I realized that I was ready to move on to a bigger, better space and a new business name. So, Mariposa Kitchen became The City Kitchen, with a full website, video food blog, recipe index and beautiful venues for cooking classes and private events.
Meghan and I began working together in the spring of 2102 and she has been an extremely valuable addition to The City Kitchen. I’m not sure where I would be without her. Chris came on board in the summer of 2103. His wicked sense of humor and impressive cooking skills are greatly appreciated.
My mother and grandmother are both excellent cooks and after watching them gracefully concoct many delicious meals, I knew at an early age that I wanted to learn how to do that too. The kitchen is my happy place. It’s where I go to do my best thinking, and where I am my most creative. I was also lucky to have a multinational upbringing that afforded me many rich cultural and culinary experiences living and traveling around the world. Many of my favorite memories are food memories: eating, preparing, discovering.
It is because of this food passion that I decided to go to The French Culinary Institute in Manhattan to gain the professional training I needed in order to turn my passion into a career. Since then I have worked in restaurants, including a James Beard Award Winning restaurant, ABC Kitchen, I have catered with large catering companies in San Francisco, and I have worked as a private chef.
I love to cook, but I also love interactive cooking. I love the conversations that evolve while stirring the pot. I love the collaborative nature – if you do this, and I do that, together we will produce something delicious. When you cook as a team, it is no longer a chore but rather a social activity. And in early 2012 I found The City Kitchen, where Caroline and I thrive on the idea of social cooking – a place where food is the melting pot that brings people together.
Chris Bottorff brings 12 years of experience cooking a diverse range of Modern American cuisine – leaning towards Italian, French and Spanish with a nod to both coastal southern and wine country cooking.
A native of Santa Rosa, CA, Chris developed a serious interest in cooking from an early age, drawing inspiration from his strong lineage of seasoned home cooks – and the dinner parties that they regularly hosted – and the wondrous bounty and culinary culture of Sonoma County.
Chris has cooked and learned in the kitchens of several notable restaurants like Boulette’s Larder, Bar Jules, Contigo, Pizzeria Delfina, RNM Restaurant, and Zazu’s. With such broad and diverse experience, Chris was able to explore a variety of culinary philosophies, and strengthen his own culinary point of view. Throughout his years of experience, he has built strong relationships with local farmers, winemakers, food purveyors, and artisans, which have an indelible influence on and inspire his cooking.
Chris is also the founder of Chrissy’s Waffles, a pop-up restaurant featuring – what else? – waffles! He can be found at local destinations and private events offering his “home-style” original flavor waffles and delectable prosecco cordials.
Away from work, Chris can be found shopping at San Francisco’s farmer’s markets, enjoying sherry tastings with his colleagues, hosting dinner parties for his family and friends, fishing or golfing with his best friend, or taking in a day game at AT&T park.