After 30 years, Hornblower Cruises & Events roasted their Executive Chef.
Family, friends, and colleagues gathered to celebrate Christopher Schlerf, Director of Food & Beverage for Hornblower Cruises & Events. After 30 years, there was a lot of love for this talented and popular man.
Chris trains and supervises 125 crew members – providing them with skills that become essential when simultaneously serving seven yachts in San Diego as well as our on-land venue, The Abbey on Fifth Avenue.
Every great leader has humble beginnings, and Chris is no exception. Schlerf’s culinary career began washing dishes at Wong’s Paradise in Alhambra, California. “I figured if I worked in a restaurant, I’d always have a place to eat,” said Chris. His passion for cooking developed in San Luis Obispo while attending college, and led him to gigs in Boston, Seattle, and the Bay Area.
Chris graduated from The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco in 1983 and joined Hornblower as an executive chef in 1987. Chris created delicious food for us in San Francisco, Marina del Rey, Long Beach, and Newport Beach before accepting his Executive Chef position in San Diego.
Now, Chris handles staffing, customer experience, and so much more — he develops green initiatives like sustainable seafood purchasing, recycling, and composting. His hard work has earned the company recognition from the <<San Diego Business Journal>>, <<Meeting Professionals International>>, and the <<San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau>>.
When he’s not creating menus that hit it out of the park, Chris loves baseball. He coaches and acts as umpire for the Valley De Oro Little League — and that isn’t the only way he helps out the community. Chris serves as chef advisor and mentor for many culinary students in the San Diego area (and still finds the time to be involved with many non-profit organizations).
Chris thanked the large crowd in attendance, especially Debbie, his wife of 25 years. Chris and Debbie are the adoptive parents of three special needs children and Chris spoke with great love for his family, thanking Debbie for her profound influence on his career.
Thank you, Chris – we’re so thankful to have you on our team!