Meet Chef Tom Valdivieso

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

We dropped into the kitchen this week for a quick Q&A with Chef Tom!


Where did you grow up? I was born in Houston, TX but lived in Libertyville, IL and Bloomfield Hills, MI growing up.

When did you know you wanted to be a chef? I would probably say around the age of 8 I started to want to cook for the family.

Where did you study? I attended the Culinary Institute of America for my Culinary Arts degree. Who is a Chef that you admire? I admire Chef Marco Pierre White.  He has a tenacity in the kitchen and a love for life.

Tell me about your favorite wine. I don't necessarily have a favorite wine, depends on the situation. :)

What is your favorite food memory? My favorite food memories usually involve ordinary food heightened by context. For example: one night in June after my sophomore year of college, I spent an entire night bicycling around the north side of Chicago with a friend. Before we set off, we bought rolls, a variety of sausages, and a few bottles of beer from a German deli called Gene’s Sausage Shop in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. Over the course of the night, we’d ride around for an hour or so, then take picnic breaks on swings in parks all around the north side, until we ran out of steam around sunrise. We concluded our tour with diner coffee-and because we were 20 and invincible, cigarettes (which definitely wouldn’t be a feature of this adventure now!)

What is your best cooking tip for a novice? Learn knife skills and never buy pot and pan or utensil sets. Choose each piece individually based on your needs.

What do you like to eat when you’re at home? My best cooking tip for a novice would be to take your time when cooking...it's not a race for the home cook, enjoy the moment and dont cut yourself!

Final question, what would be your “last supper” meal? I like to eat a good mac and cheese...mainly since it is what my young kids want to eat..haha Interested in learning more about Chef Tom? Visit him at one of his upcoming cooking classes. Learn more.

Recent Posts

See All

White Chocolate Mousse

9 ounces white chocolate, cut into small pieces 3 Tablespoons Kirsch 2 Tablespoons water 1 ½ cups heavy cream Place chocolate, Kirsch and water in a medium size bowl. Set in a pan of hot water (turn h

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

¼ cup milk 2 Tablespoons sweet butter, cut into small pieces ¾ cup sifted cake flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ¾ cup sugar 3 large eggs 3 egg yolks Preheat oven to 400F. Line the bottom of a sheet pan

Mushroom Duxelle

1 tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil 2 tablespoons minced shallots 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 10 ounces button mushrooms, finely chopped 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper Heat the butter