A seasoned food professional with over 20 years of experience, Denise Vivaldo has catered more than 10,000 parties and has cooked for such guests as George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Prince Charles, Bette Midler, Suzanne Somers, Merv Griffin, Cher, Aaron Spelling, Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Maria Shriver. She began her culinary training at the Ritz Escoffier and La Varenne in Paris, and then graduated Chef de Cuisine from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Denise spent numerous years as a professor at UCLA’s Culinary Program and at her alma mater, The California Culinary Academy.
In 1988, Denise founded Food Fanatics, a catering, recipe-development, and food-styling firm based in Los Angeles, California. Since that time, she has catered for such events as the Academy Awards Governor’s Ball, Sunset Magazine’s Taste of Sunset, and Hollywood wrap parties. She has also styled food for countless local and nationally syndicated television shows such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NapaStyle with Michael Chiarello, and Inside Dish with Rachel Ray.
Denise is the author of How to Start a Home-Based Catering Business, which has sold more than 150,000 copies and is in its 6th printing, and How to Start a Home-Based Personal Chef Business. She is also the author of Do It For Less! Parties, Do It For Less! Weddings (winner of a 2009 IACP Cookbook Award) and The Entertaining Encyclopedia.
The Food Styling Handbook, a book based on her decades of food styling experience, will be available from Gibbs Smith in September 2010. She is currently working on a companion book to The Entertaining Encyclopedia. Denise teaches catering and food styling seminars and workshops across the country and internationally.
Denise has been a featured guest on a variety of television networks and shows including Good Day L.A., ABC Morning News, the Japanese Drama Channel, The Food Network, Home & Garden Network, TV Guide Channel, SoapNet, Lifetime TV, and TV Land.
As a consultant, Denise assists companies to better their products. Clients include Bradshaw International, Hamilton Beach, QVC, Hunt-Wesson/ConAgra, Euro Direct, Hy-Vee, Homeland House Wares, and Future Kitchen Technologies.
Denise has helped many people with their cookbooks, including: Mariel’s Healthy Kitchen by Mariel Hemmingway; The Date Night Cookbook by Meredith Phillips; Somersize Fast and Easy Cookbook, Somersize Desserts, Somersize Chocolate, and Eat, Cheat and Melt the Fat Away, by Suzanne Somers; The Food Mover Cookbook and Steam Away the Pounds! by Richard Simmons; The Calorie Countdown Cookbook by Juan-Carlos Cruz; Eat, Taste, Heal by Dr. Tom Yarema; The 3-Hour Diet Cookbook by Jorge Cruise; and Hey, Mom! I’m Hungry! by Susan Powter.