A Note from Paula Gottlieb Herman
I have loved food my entire life. I even learned to read as a child from my dad’s Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazine collection. His cooking and catering classes inspired a curiosity in me for all things yummy.
Food has been a major thread running through my career tapestry. Right after college, as Editor of Key Magazine: This Week in New York, I would guide NYC visitors to happenings around town, including writing restaurant reviews and attending new restaurant and club openings.
As a Production Coordinator, Unit Manager and Segment Producer for NBC News Sunday Today and Weekend Today, I coordinated production elements for food segments with Al Roker. I produced segments on some of the exotics like Japanese dishes of Fugu (Blowfish) and Wagyu (Hand-Massaged Kobe Beef), kept our viewers up on the latest grilling techniques, kitchen gadgets, and more. I also coordinated some of the production elements for Martha Stewart’s and Paul Prudhomme’s cooking segments for the Today Show.
After a 7 1/2-year stint at NBC, I launched myself into a career as a Market Researcher. I especially enjoyed doing studies on people’s likes and dislikes of food and beverages. The food and drink taste tests were among my favorite projects. I executed taste tests for Nathan’s Famous, Dunkin’ Donuts, Boston Market, Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, Pepsi, and Coca Cola.
I have traveled to many foreign lands and enjoy collecting regional cookbooks from these locales. My trips to Italy, England, Wales, France, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Spain, Mexico, and the Caribbean have made me aware of the spices, textures, and flavors of the food I prepare.
I have been a Party Planner for many years—the go-to person friends, family, and colleagues come to for advice on how to create special events, for fabulous restaurant picks, and for locating vendors for hard-to-get items.
My eye for detail, curiosity, and passion for playing with my food, are all part of the big picture for me. I adore children, and teaching them some of the tools-of-the-trade that my own father passed down to me. So, since 2005, it has been my turn to pass the rolling pin onto the next generation of li’l chefs!
In addition to private parties and workshops from Manhattan to Montauk, Westchester, Rockland, and parts of New Jersey, we offer public events. These amazing events are multi-generational and bring families together to experience hands-on activities on farms (Fun on the Farm Day), schooners (Kids & Rigs Sailing Adventure) and nature preserves (Harry Potter Halloween), etc.
Every year I add a new layer to our LilChefs.com Special Events’ offerings. In 2013 we added cooking classes for after-school programs as well as high-profile public events such as the 2013 Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival-Burger Bash. My Chef Paula’s Cookie Sliders were created for Rachael Ray, the host of the event, and 27 chefs (Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri, etc.) competing in this fundraiser, plus celebrity judges, and TV personalities.
2014 was the year we began offering our services to more adults. At our events, we have seen that adults also enjoying playing with their food! So, we are now creating parties and workshops geared for older li’l chefs which include women’s groups, men’s groups, seniors groups, and religious organizations. Look out for our nostalgic TV-themed dinner parties, too!
2015 is my year to reunite my loves of family, food, and TV, so I am in development for my own cooking TV show entitled, “Chef Paula’s Cooking with Stars!” We will be shooting segments this summer with fascinating people who have great recipes, family traditions, and memorable stories to share!