Executive Chef Louis Eguaras

Culinary Arts Institute at Los Angeles Mission College 

Chef Louis Eguaras started cooking at the age of thirteen when his mother showed him how to cook spaghetti with meatballs. Since then he has been hooked on cooking. At fifteen years old, he started working in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher at Stanley's Bar & Grill in Wilmington, DE and by the time he was a senior in high school, was a sous chef and helping run the restaurant. At the age of twenty, seven years after having arrived from the Philippines, Chef Eguaras joined the United States Navy. He specifically joined the Navy as a Culinary Specialist because the United States Navy has one of the best culinary schools out of all the military branches with civilian instructors from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy to the Culinary Institute of America. He attended the US Navy's Intensive Culinary Arts Academy located in the Naval Training Center, San Diego, CA in 1991 and graduated in 1992. When he was in culinary school, the recruiters from Camp David Presidential Retreat came and asked if any of the students were interested in being stationed in Camp David as one of the chefs for President Bush, Sr. and his family, friends and senior staff. Of course, he immediately signed up. Out of 250 culinary arts students, Chef Eguaras was selected along with another student from a different graduating class. He then passed all the necessary background investigation by the FBI and United States Secret Service for a Top Secret Clearance with flying colors and was on his way to Camp David Presidential Retreat.

He was stationed at Camp David Presidential Retreat from 1992-1993 and worked under the White House Military Office. During his time at Camp David, he, along with nine other Navy enlisted personnel, personally served and cooked for President George Bush, Sr., First Lady Barbara Bush, Vice President Dan Quayle and Second Lady Marilyn Quayle and of course many of the President's guest. He had the honor and privilege of cooking for Prime Minister John Majors of Great Britain, Prime Minister Mulroney of Canada and celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Amy Grant, George Strait and many more.

When the Navy was downsizing and so was Camp David, Chef Eguaras was asked to see if he would be interested in transferring to The White House. Of course he said yes! Within a week, he was transferred to the White House Staff Mess ("WHSM"), a fine dining restaurant in the West Wing that served the President, First Lady and Senior Staff members like David Gergen, Leon Panetta, Rahm Emanuel, Sandy Berger, George Stephanoupolis and Dee Dee Myers, while they were working in the West Wing during long, tough working hours.

While he was at The White House, He also worked with Executive Chef Walter Scheib (Iron Chef Winner July 2006), the main Residence chef and Sous Chef Keith Luce, on state dinners and special events. This really taught him a lot about the culinary arts field and gave him a broad range of recipes to work with. Chef Eguaras was very fortunate to have cooked for and worked on events that served many foreign dignitaries like Prime Minister Nelson Mandela and celebrities like Tom Hanks, Jimmy Buffett, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Oliver Stone, James Woods, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, Crosby, Stills and Nash and many more. He was also a member of the Presidential Advance Travel Team and worked along with the United States Secret Service and got to travel with the President and Senior Staff within the United States and abroad (Germany, France and Italy) to make sure that the meals prepared for the President were properly secured. Chef Eguaras worked at The White House from 1992 through 1996 and received the prestigious award and certification of Presidential Service Badge ("PSB"). When not at The White House, Chef Eguaras volunteered his time working with Executive Chef Patrice Olivon at The French Embassy (93-96) in Washington, DC to gain more experience in the field.

When Chef Eguaras was honorably discharged from the Navy, he decided to venture to California instead of returning to his home state in east coast, Delaware. He then started his own catering company called Presidential Culinary Services, Inc. (www.presidentialchef.com) as he searched for employment in the fine dining restaurants, five-star hotels, etc. As the Executive Chef for Presidential Culinary Services, he catered many of his friends and families special events such as anniversaries, birthday parties, graduations, baptisms, etc.

From 1997 through 2005, Chef Eguaras has had the opportunity of running his catering company on the side and was also employed in the banking and finance world as well. In these industries, he learned the many aspects of business such as advertising, sales and marketing and how to succeed in a fast-paced global environment where every edge in business is necessary to succeed. Chef Eguaras feels that he has much to share with the students when coupling his culinary arts experience along with his knowledge in sales, marketing and advertising. As a Restaurateur, having a solid foundation in business is key.

In October 2005, Chef Eguaras helped College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, CA, put together their Culinary Arts Program and served as a Chair and adviser in the Culinary Arts Committee. In 2006, Chef Eguaras became a Certified Personal Fitnes Chef ("CPFC") and teaches students how to cook healthy and nutritional meals. In 2008, Chef Eguaras put together a successful Culinary Arts Program and started teaching the program for Hart District's Regional Occupational Program in Santa Clarita. 

Chef Eguaras is also the author of the Los Angeles Times' and New York Times Bestselling book titled "101 Things I Learned in Culinary School," published by Grand Central Publishing (March 2010) and is the Vice Chair of the Culinary Arts Institute @ LA Mission College. 101 Things I Learned in Culinary School is available on Amazon, eBay, Barnes & Noble and many other websites such as www.gettextbooks.com.  When not lecturing or in the kitchen with students, you can find Chef Eguaras travelling the world and tasting all the amazing cuisines the world has to offer with his beautiful wife, Agnes. 


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