Many great chefs learned about food from a gifted parent or grandparent, often while helping their elders prepare treasured family recipes for holiday meals.
Not Abbye Williams.
"When I was growing up, my mom didn't like to cook. She had a great kitchen, but she knew how to prepare just five dishes," recalls Abbye. "So my first cooking class in junior high school opened my eyes to the universe of possibilities with food. I was hooked."
"Baking was my passion in junior high," she says. "In high school, I branched out to all types of cooking." She also participated in several sports, and became interested in nutrition, especially for athletes.
Abbye entered the University of California, Berkeley to study food science and nutrition, but soon realized she wanted to be in the kitchen, not the lab. Her next stop was San Francisco's famed California Culinary Academy, where she earned her Professional Chef credential in 1980.
IN A NUTSHELL
Her top-notch education opened the doors to a food industry career starting with these positions:
After dozens of grand openings, new product launches, and seasonal crunches, Abbye perfected the art of working calmly and effectively in the most demanding conditions.
OFF THE MENU
When she launched A Freiman Consulting in 1995, Abbye was free to structure her role to fit the needs of her clients. Some projects take a few weeks and others may require a set number of hours for many months.
For instance, she spent 15 months as Interim Training Director for a four-unit natural food and beverage retailer to recruit and motivate a staff that would carry out her ambitious customer service and sales goals.
She spent 10 months as Consulting Production Director for a $6 million fresh wholesale bakery where she managed product development and improved operations.
THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING
Abbye has brought to market 27 gourmet perishable items from inception to the grocery shelf, and developed 10 bakery items for a Starbucks supplier serving the Southern California market.
This "concept to consumer" expertise speeds the process of launching a new product. Abbye works with a food technologist, a package designer and co-packers to keep projects moving forward.
ALWAYS AHEAD OF THE CURVE
Abbye takes advantage of the educational and networking opportunities via memberships in the Food Consultants Group, the Southern California Institute of Food Technologists, and the Research Chefs Association.
In addition, she has completed many continuing education courses and webinars.
Today, Abbye continues to introduce her clients to the newest trends and cutting-edge techniques for successfully creating products and managing operations.
Making food businesses better since 1995
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