Introducing Haggen Southwest Deli Personnel
Meet Chanel, she is our very own Deli Field Specialist. She makes sure that our delis are on par to Haggen standards as she strategically gives each one of our locations attention so it has a deli that the community craves. That’s right, she has a lot on her plate, but she found some time to answer a few questions about her background, Haggen family history, and she even included one of her favorite recipes!
Give us a brief overview of your background:
I attended culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu at 17 where I studied culinary arts. I worked at the Omni Hotel, private chef’d for Jimmy Kimmel/Adam Carolla and worked in a Hollywood nightclub. I began teaching a few years later and eventually began teaching for Le Cordon Bleu. At the same time, I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Management and a certification as Pastry Chef through the American Culinary Federation. My love for baking allowed me to cross teach both culinary and patisserie classes and lead the pastry department and write the pastry curriculum for all Le Cordon Bleu North American schools. I am currently working on my Master’s Degree in Education.
How did you start working for Haggen?
I heard Haggen had a mix of taking the grocery business while focusing on local and seasonal items with a heavy emphasis on scratch items being produced in their bakeries and deli’s and I knew I would love to be a part of the creative direction!
We hear there is a lot of Haggen in the family, please explain?
Yes! I get the privilege of working alongside both of my parents!! My mom Nicky Graham is a Store Director at the Haggen in Burbank and it was great being a part of that conversion. Her team was so excited and I know that her enthusiasm and leadership was a huge contribution! My dad Ron Graham recently retired after 41 years with Albertson’s and came on to join the team with Haggen as a receiving consultant, helping each store to learn the proper way to work with vendors and receiving processes and procedures. Haggen began as a family business and it’s great the company embraces that still. I feel everyone I work with now is family!
What are a few things you’ve learned from your training that you are bringing to Haggen?
I love that Haggen’s delis are making scratch salads and other items. It is important to be patient and bring that teacher role into the deli area. It is new for a lot of the crew working within the deli and it is important they are taught properly and supported!
What is one pastry that you can’t live without?
I absolutely cannot live without peach cobbler. I was walking through our produce department and saw peaches, so I am quite excited to make some cobbler from scratch!!
In your opinion, what is a Haggen find that most people aren’t familiar with?
There are so many great ingredients out there in our stores! Deli is offering honey comb which is a great accompaniment to a cheese board, produce has dragon fruit that would make a great sorbet and the meat department has kobe beef! It seems everybody has some amount of “foodie” in them and a curiosity to create dishes within their home, and Haggen fuels the ability to allow our customers to have access to these wonderful items.
How is Haggen’s bakery different from other experiences you’ve had in the past?
I am impressed with our cakes. They aren’t just typical buttercream cupcakes…these cakes are works of art! I love that the bakery employees are proud of what they are doing because they are making these items themselves. I am seeing baguette’s from scratch, donuts being freshly fried, and cinnamon rolls and bread being formed by hand.
Please share a couple of your favorite Summer recipes:
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 bunch asparagus (woody ends removed)
- 1 red onion
- 1 cup cooked Orzo pasta (make according to instructions)
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
- 1/4 bunch Italian Parsley, chopped
- Olive oil to coat vegetables
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
beer and wine
with a twist!