Barbara Werner: Music to Make your Mediocre Meatloaf Sing

BarbaraWerner-with-dogUpdate March 2014: Barbara Werner’s musical pairing app is now free to download from iTunes and GooglePlay.

Airlines offer music on planes to help panicky flyers relax. Music is piped through the metro or subway system to reduce crime. And supermarkets have been known to play loud music to push customers more quickly through the aisles without reducing sales. So why not play just the right mix of music to your dinner guests to make them feel they’re dining at a Michelin-star eatery?

Absurd? Well no, not really according to professionally-trained chef Barbara Werner, “With an open heart, an open mind, and a simple mathematical formula, you can elevate a good dish to great and a great dish to near perfection.”

Werner collects degrees and certifications like most of us collect lost socks from the laundry. On top of an associate’s degree in culinary art, she’s certified in reflexology, payroll and HR and is trained as a beverage specialist, bartender, and equissageur (dog and horse masseuse in case you’re wondering). In addition, she’s taken sommelier classes and is a licensed manicurist and tattoo artist.

“I am always studying something and telling myself, someday this will come in handy, I don’t know where or how but it usually does,” says Werner who prefers the moniker of Renaissance Woman. (more…)

Ligia Galvao Vaz: From Floor Polish to Eggs Florentine

IMG_9284Ligia Galvao Vaz is an optimist right down to her toes. You just can’t help but feel good when talking to her … she’s contagious. Maybe it’s that indomitable Brazilian spirit, or maybe it’s just the way she’s wired, working hard to get where she is today but so positive about life and the opportunities she has been given.

“I’ve always had dreams. When I reach one, I move on to the next. That’s what I teach my daughter, if you have a goal, nothing is impossible if you want it enough.”

Born in Salvador, Bahia, on the east coast of Brazil, Vaz began her working life at 18 years as a secretary at a bus company. Straight out of high school, she decided to forego university so she could gain independence and buy her own place. She moved up the ranks to a supervisory role but left after six years to join a concert producer as an office manager. (more…)