By: Jason Freeze
If you’ve ever had the chance to meet chef Isabel (Isa) Tancredi then you’ve undoubtedly noticed her passion for food. Watching her work in the kitchen, you can see her cooking spirit and creativity come to life. This spirit also spreads to whomever is with her, whether it’s a lunch customer or one of her cooking students.
Isa has been a chef for 18 years now as a full-service caterer. She has worked with smaller events, including being a personal chef at someone’s home, all the way up to serving 600 guests. Her inspiration for cooking comes from her mom and mother-in-law. “They taught me how to do food and family. They showed me it was important to sit down with your family and eat.”
After a number of years though, she was getting tired of renting kitchens all the time and always working from afar. She felt that she was always on the move and had to load and unload her car far too often. So she began looking for a permanent space to work from. And as luck (or fate) would have it, she found the perfect spot in downtown St. George.
February 2020 will mark her second year at the Studio. Here, she’s able to stay close to home, while creating great food without all the stress of moving around so much. She’s very thankful for finding this spot and thankful to St. George and all her customers for the wonderful support she’s received.
On top of all her catering and cooking, she now has the ability to do a number of other exciting things too! Having a fixed location with space for seating has given chef Isa the ability to offer teaching classes and themed nights.
These events are an exciting way for her to share her passion of food with the wider community while having fun and getting more people interested in cooking. One her most favourite themed nights is the ‘Havana Nights’ event. It’s as if the guests get a trip to Cuba without having to travel. People get to learn and create their own Cuban meals and drinks, and guests even have Salsa dancing lessons. As she says, “It’s like a dinner, show and activity all wrapped into one!” On top of this, she’s also hosted Girl’s Night Out, Tapas in Sebastian, and The Art of Pasta Making just to name a few.
Chef Isa also offers classes for kids as well. She’s done both weekly classes and offers camp-style classes when the kids are out of school. These classes teach the kids hands-on techniques and methods for cooking and how to work with different ingredients. She’s found that many kids want to expand their knowledge in the kitchen and she feels honoured to be able to help them build their skills.
Her approach to cooking and teaching is personalized for both the food she’s making and the students in her ‘classroom.’ She’s had young kids all the way up to a 99-year-old and they all feel as though they’ve made real connections with her. She’s even had a young student on the autism spectrum hug her once. Later she was told by the parents that they don’t hug or like being touched. It’s her relaxed and fun approach that helps create these real connections.
Chef Isa’s Studio also allows her to prepare and serve lunch on a regular basis, and offers people a venue to host their own events as well. Overall, Isa is more than just a caterer, instructor, or chef. She’s unique with her personalized touch, authentic with her flavours, and her friendly nature helps make real connections.
So if you’re looking for great food with a personalized touch, check out Sweet Isa Catering & Cooking Studio. She can work with you on many topics from corporate catering, family functions, venue space, fun events, lunches, instruction and pretty much everything in between.
You can visit her Studio at 48 Main Street South in St. George, or check out more information online at www.sweetisa.com