Claire Menck is an international award winning chef, educator, and scholar. She began her career at the ripe age of fourteen in the dish pit of a small café in her hometown of Barrington, Illinois. While attending the University of Wisconsin, Madison Claire worked in a variety of restaurants and bars, including a stint at the Ovens of Brittany. It was those experiences that built a sense of community for her while in school, and formed her later decision to forgo law school and attend New England Culinary Institute. That decision ultimately led to a career in the food service industry that has spanned three decades and has included work in the back, front, and top of house in a myriad of operations from hotels and cruise ships, to free standing, fine dining restaurants. In 2000 she started her own business, Girlchef, which continues to offer consultancy today as the new venture: Cream City Collaborative.