Connoisseurs of fine cuisine can now experience of five-star dining in their own homes as Scotts Valley resident Evan Rotman recently announced he is bringing his nearly 20 years of experience as a personal chef to local tables.
Rotman, who describes himself as a “culinary activist,” has made it his mission to bring gourmet meals — made with fresh, organically grown ingredients — to the tables of Santa Cruz County.
He said that his specialty is tailor-made three-course gourmet meals — perfect for small, intimate dinner parties.
“I like to talk to the client and create a custom menu,” Rotman said. “I feel like we’re activists in the choices we make as consumers.”
When he is hired for such a dinner party, he said, most of the prep work is done at his professional kitchen at his home outside Scotts Valley, before transporting it to the scene of the party.
“I do a lot of farm-to-table,” he said. “We bring the food, we clean up, we do all the work.”
Each meal, Rotman said, includes three passed appetizers followed by a starter item, an entrée, and a dessert.
As for specialties, he said that he has a rather diverse culinary background, and has studied Mediterranean cooking as well as in Thailand.
“I have a lot of international influences,” Rotman said.
He said that he has regular clients in the Woodside and Palo Alto areas and would like to work locally as well.
Rotman has had something of a nomadic career since starting out in 1997 as an intern studying with Cajun Chef Paul Prudhomme in New Orleans.
He has a resume that includes stints as a personal chef on private yachts and private islands, as well as executive chef at five-star resorts and restaurants.
A career highlight for Rotman was going on tours as personal chef to such famous musicians as Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, and the surviving members of the Grateful Dead.
Rotman said that he came to Scotts Valley a little more than a year ago, looking for a place to recuperate from orthopedic surgery after working a two-month job on a private island near Fiji.
He purchased a home after meeting his fiancée, Marsea Marcus, and decided to make the area a permanent home.
“We started to remodel the kitchen the day we moved in,” he said.
Since then, Rotman has worked to create a working kitchen and vegetable garden — growing such produce as tomatoes, kale, zucchini, and coriander.
“This was just scraggly dirt when we moved in,” he said, adding that he tries to use as much homegrown vegetables as possible in his cooking. “Some percentage comes from my garden.”
For more information, call 415-613-4714 or visit www.evanrotman.com.
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