Gulf Coast restaurateur Chef Tim Creehan has expanded his fine dining flagship Cuvee Bistro into a culinary education facility designed to provide real world experience and training for the next generation of future chefs.
Creehan currently serves on the Board of Auburn University's Hotel and Restaurant Management College and recruits graduates for collaborative training within both Cuvee Bistro and Cuvee Catering.
Under Creehan’s seasoned direction, Cuvee's current crop of students and staff rotate lead and support positions in the daily operations of a professional kitchen.
“The level of cuisine expected at Destin’s premiere dining establishment requires attention to every detail,” Creehan said. “From sourcing ingredients to recipe development, technique, execution and presentation, I want to share my 30 years of worldwide experience with the newest generation of aspiring young chefs along the Emerald Coast and beyond.”
Ashlie Weddell, a student at Oregon Culinary Institute, has been interning at Cuvee since January.
“Interning with Chef Creehan has been a great experience. I am so happy to be learning at this wonderful restaurant with such a knowledgeable and friendly staff.”
“We typically have no less than one culinary school intern and one chef in training on staff in our kitchen,” Creehan said. “It’s exciting to have input from multiple, talented chefs. Furthermore, this program has the ancillary benefit of creating much needed jobs in a still struggling economy, providing a community service while encouraging students from around the world to hone their craft in our restaurant.”
Creehan is no stranger to the role of multitasking teacher and steward of the community. He supports and participates in various charities both local and national, including the recent judging of 3rd to 5th grade students at The Nutrition Center of Okaloosa County Schools “Future Chef” competition. His Chef’s Wine Dinner offered by Destin Charity Wine Auction helps local charities in need. As Honorary Commander, Creehan participated in “Chef to Chef Program” for the Hennessey Award sponsored by the National Restaurant Association for the best food service operation in the U.S. Air Force. Creehan worked with Eglin and Hurlburt airmen preparing them for civilian food service, resulting in both bases winning “Best in Air Force”. His popular cooking classes are regular sellouts, and he’s personally trained much o the Emerald Coast’s emerging talent, including Giovanni Filippone of “Hell's Kitchen” fame, Jason Knoll, Alan Baltazar, and recently voted “Best Chef” Dan Pettis of One 20 a Modern Bistro in Niceville.
“Chef Creehan and I met about 20 years ago when I was just 12,” Pettis recalls. “Our working relationship turned in to a lifetime friendship. He gave a young aspiring chef a chance, and over the next nine years he groomed me and I was a sponge. Because of that training, I excelled in culinary school, finishing with a 4.0 GPA, then around the world to consult on other projects before returning home to open my own One 20 a Modern Bistro. Chefs today are a dime a dozen, but a true chef is a diamond in the rough, and I am the chef I am today because of the one who polished me.”
Aspiring young chefs and students interested in a potential culinary externship can learn more about the program at 650-8900.