Califonia Bountiful

It's a trip

September/October 2017 California Bountiful magazine

Culinary arts instructor revels in her 'crazy fun' job

Of teaching the next generation of chefs, Teresa Urkofsky says, "I feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be." Photo: © 2017 Matt Salvo

If life is a highway, culinary arts instructor Teresa Urkofsky is loving the journey.

"I look forward to going to work just about every single day. It's crazy fun," said the longtime teacher in the Hospitality Management/Culinary Arts program at American River College in Sacramento. She also manages the college's student-run café.

Urkofsky—a culinary school graduate who's held several high-profile jobs in the Sacramento restaurant scene—is both a product and advocate of vocational education.

"I raised my daughter and was able to do all the things I wanted to do for her because I worked really hard in an industry I love," she said. "And it just thrills me no end to get people on a path where they can do that—where they can have a lot of passion about their work and support their family."

Urkofsky enjoys the fast pace of the culinary world and, when not at school, often caters events "out of the back of my SUV." But her favorite vehicle is a black 1978 Corvette, ideal for cruising the Pacific Coast Highway. Whenever she can, she drives to San Francisco then heads south to San Diego with just two things in mind: "It's all about food—the restaurants and the farmers markets and the farm stands—and it's all about the beach," she said.

Urkofsky shares the following recipes, inspired by her journey—along the Pacific Coast Highway and throughout her food-enriched life.

Barbara Arciero


Autumn roasted vegetable soup with sharp cheddar-stout gougeres

Chive-scented potato latkes with chunky heirloom applesauce

Shaved salad tartine

Smoky salt-cured ribeye with fire-roasted tomatoes and arugula pesto

Pumpkin layer cake with butterscotch-bourbon frosting

Whole egg and potato ravioloni with fried herb salsa verde

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