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Chef Louis Eguaras started cooking at the age of thirteen when his mother showed him how to cook spaghetti with meatballs. Since then he has been hooked on cooking. At the age of twenty, seven years after having arrived from the Philippines, Chef Eguaras joined the United States Navy. He specifically joined the Navy as a Culinary Specialist because the Navy has one of the best culinary schools out of all the military branches with civilian instructors from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy to the Culinary Institute of America. He attended the US Navy's intensive Culinary Arts Academy in 1991 and graduated in 1992. When he was in culinary school, the recruiters from Camp David Presidential Retreat came and asked if any of the students were interested in being stationed in Camp David as one of the chefs for President Bush, Senior and his family, friends and senior staff. Of course, he immediately signed up. Out of 150 culinary arts students, Chef Eguaras was selected along with another student from a different graduating class. He then passed all the necessary background investigation by the FBI and USSS with flying colors and was on his way to Camp David.
He was stationed at Camp David Presidential Retreat from 1992-1993 and worked under the White House Military Office. During his time at Camp David, he, along with nine other Navy enlisted personnel, personally served and cooked for President George Bush, Sr., First Lady Barbara Bush, Vice President Dan Quayle and Second Lady Marilyn Quayle and of course many of the President's guest. He had the honor and privilege of cooking for Prime Minister John Majors of Great Britain, Prime Minister Mulroney of Canada and celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Amy Grant, George Strait and many more.
When the Navy was downsizing and so was Camp David, Chef Eguaras was asked to see if he would be interested in transferring to The White House. Of course he said yes! Within a week, he was transferred to the White House Staff Mess ("WHSM"), a fine dining restaurant in the West Wing that served the President, First Lady and Senior Staff members like David Gergen, Leon Panetta, Sandy Berger, George Stephanoupolis and Dee Dee Myers, while they were working in the West Wing during long, tough working hours. While he was at The White House, He also worked with Executive Chef Walter Scheib (Iron Chef Winner July 2006), the main residence chef, on state dinners and special events. This really taught him a lot about the culinary arts field and gave him a broad range of recipes to work with. Chef Eguaras was very fortunate to have cooked for and worked on events that served many foreign dignitaries like Nelson Mandela and celebrities like Tom Hanks, Jimmy Buffett, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Oliver Stone, James Woods, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, Crosby, Stills and Nash and many more. He was also a member of the Presidential Advance Travel Team and worked along with the United States Secret Service and got to travel with the President and Senior Staff within the United States and abroad (Germany, France and Italy) to make sure that the meals prepared for the President were properly secured. Chef Eguaras worked at The White House from 1993 through 1997.
When not at The White House, Chef Eguaras volunteered his time working at The French Embassy (93-96) in Washington, DC to gain more experience in the field.
When Chef Eguaras was honorably discharged from the Navy, he decided to venture to California instead of returning to his home state in the east coast, Delaware. He then started his own catering company called Presidential Culinary Service (www.presidentialchef.com) as he searched for employment in the fine dining restaurants, five-star hotels, etc. As the Executive Chef for Presidential Culinary Services, he catered many of his friends and families special events such as anniversaries, birthday parties, graduations, baptisms, etc.
From 1997 through 2006, Chef Eguaras has had the opportunity of running his catering company on the side and was also employed in the banking and finance world as well. In these industries, he learned the many aspects of business such as advertising, sales and marketing and how to succeed in a fast-paced global environment where every edge in business is necessary to succeed. Chef Eguaras feels that he has much to share with the students when coupling his culinary arts experience along with his knowledge in sales, marketing and advertising. As a Restaurateur, having a solid foundation in business is key.
In October 2005, Chef Eguaras helped College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, CA, put together their Culinary Arts Program and serves as an advisor in the committee. In 2008, Chef Eguaras put together a successful culinary arts program and started teaching the program for Hart District’s Regional Occupational Program in Santa Clarita.
Chef Eguaras is also the author of 101 Things I Learned in Culinary School, published by Grand Central Publishing. 101 Things I Learned in Culinary School is available at Barnes & Noble, Borders and all many other bookstores nationwide! Please check out www.101ThingsILearned.com
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