Leaders & Working Women The Chef: ‘I like creating something and seeing people eat it’

The Chef: ‘I like creating something and seeing people eat it’

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Lindsay Bradeen, 20

2010 graduate of Southern Maine Community College’s Culinary Arts Program

Sous Chef for Personal Touch?Catering and Events on Broadway

www.ptcmaine.com

You may not know Lindsay Bradeen yet, but chef Will Beriau, chairman of Southern Maine Community College’s culinary arts programs, said she’s someone to look out for in the culinary world.

“She’s hot,” said Beriau, who praised Bradeen as someone who can do the work of three people in the kitchen.

And hard work has always been Bradeen’s forte, which helped her gain experience with cooking when she got a job washing dishes eight years ago for Personal Touch Catering and Events on Broadway in South Portland.

“I busted my butt. I’d always have leftover time and I’d say, hey, can I do something else?” said Bradeen, who now works there as a sous chef. “I became really, really interested in the craft. The Food Network became my favorite channel. It wasn’t MTV anymore.”

Though Bradeen, from Buxton, just graduated with her degree in culinary arts in May, she has already done much in her field. While in school, Bradeen earned a scholarship through the food event Harvest on the Harbor; represented the school at the Northeast Region Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, a competition sponsored by the American Culinary Federation; and studied cooking abroad for two summers at a prestigious Austrian tourism school. In her cooking, Bradeen said, she likes to keep it very fresh using different cuisines and different ethnic dishes every chance she gets.

“I like creating something and seeing other people eat it and the expression on their face,” said Bradeen. “How can I blow someone’s mind? I like it.”

She is currently studying to take the tests to become a certified culinarian, a designation from the American Culinary Federation, and hopes to move to San Francisco next year to take a job as a trainee at the Ritz Carlton. Her personal goal is to become a certified executive chef before she turns 30, a feat that takes years and usually doesn’t happen at that age.

Though she plans to leave Maine to jumpstart her career, that doesn’t mean Bradeen won’t be back, and when she does, you can be sure that she’ll be on the culinary map.

“I’m a very determined person. When I want to make something happen, I make it happen,” said Bradeen.

Part of the challenge has been trying to succeed in a male-dominated world.

“I’ve got to be just as good as they are, and if I want to be treated with respect then I have to be the best,” said Bradeen. “I’m not just something to look at and not be taken seriously. This isn’t something I take lightly.”

Lindsay Bradeen, chef