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Meet Heather Zaida of Chef Zaida in Carlsbad

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Zaida.

Heather, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After being a Quality Assurance Engineer for 10+ years, I found myself burnt out and tired of the rat race. I was living in NYC supporting my husband as he was completing his clinical rotations. I thought… you know what? I am going to go to culinary school. I loved to cook, it was a passion and I finally acted on that passion. I graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in 2009. I dabbled in food photography, started a food blog “Z is for zest” before launching Chef Zaida in 2015.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I wouldn’t say struggle per se however I do remind myself to remain confident in my ability to cook. My work comes from a place of love. I want to ensure every morsel is tasty and reflects this love.

Please tell us about Chef Zaida.
I am a certified Personal Chef who provides weekly services for clients. I also cook for small dinner parties and events. Being a NYC trained Chef I am well versed in many cuisines which has proven to be quite the asset in California.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I grew up in Arizona and my mother would come in my room early Saturday morning, wake me up and say “we are headed to San Diego”. She would never tell me, it was always a surprise. I fell in love with San Diego at an early age.

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