B in the News
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Hell's Kitchen Winner Brings Talent to Fort LauderdaleShare
Cooking Up a Busy Career
Chef Holli Ugalde Plans Signature Dishes
And Events at B Ocean Fort Lauderdale
Holli Ugalde has come to expect the unexpected in her life. Even she could not have anticipated her career path as a celebrity chef when she was cooking up recipes in her toy kitchen at the age of four.
These days she travels the world, has her own line of cookware (manufactured by Vita Craft in Kansas), her own line of olive oil, a cookbook, a web-based cooking show (Fire and Spice) and has joined the B Ocean Fort Lauderdale hotel team to create signature dishes for their menus and to host interactive cooking weekends. Oh yes, she is a "hands-on" mom to her six-year-old son back at their home in Southern California.
South Florida will be the beneficiary of her energy and talents. "I fell in love with the B Ocean concept. It has been a perfect fit from the start," Chef Holli said during a recent interview held in the hotel's B'stro restaurant at the corner of A1A and Sunrise Blvd.
As the interview progressed it was clear that Chef Holli has as much love of being with people as she does preparing food. The combination of a positive personality and Le Cordon Blue training has combined to bring her success in the highly competitive world of food. "Chef Holli's energy, passion, approachability and creative entrepreneurial spirit make her a great fit for the B Hotels & Resorts brand," agreed Chris Tompkins, corporate vice president and brand marketing executive for the group.
Chef Holli's fame rose to international levels when she was one of the competitors and the utlimate winner on the FOX Television show, "Hell's Kitchen". Getting on the show was not something she planned. It was just another unexpected opportunity that she was prepared to undertake. The show is aired in other countries so she is recognized when she travels, perhaps even more than in the U.S., she indicated.
Chef Holli travels with her business partner, James Love and the two, who are also a couple, are clearly on the same page when it comes their approach. "We try to go wherever we can to meet people and learn from them," Love said. Chef Holli agreed, telling as example, about their trip to Kansas to visit a factory and learn about how pots and pans are manufactured. A surprise result was the agreement for her own signature line of cookware.
Chef Holli said she continues to learn and said she tries to use locally grown food and indicated she is "in a transition" toward the "slow food" movement. Asked what defines a "foodie" Chef Holli said that a love for the ingredients in a dish and how they are prepared and used to bring out the flavors is the key. "Passion makes you a foodie," she concluded. It can also make you a very successful chef.
B Ocean Fort Lauderdale
The hotel features 240 guest rooms complete with designer furnishings and the latest entertainment features. There is an infinity edge pool and free wireless internet. The B theme is incorporated into a philosophy that includes: B Ambiance (custom sound and lighting); B Social (communal seating and gathering places); B Indulged (Spa Suite); B Sensitive (Initiatives that encourages and supports green programs.) For more information 888-66-Bhotel. www.bhotelandresorts.com
Ed. Note: Mark your calendar for the first interactive event with Chef Holli Ugalde scheduled for June 24-26 and watch for more information or contact the B Hotel. Packages include hotel accommodations or just the interactive events.