published Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Working It: Crave chef learning to delegate, ask for help

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    Cupcakes are among Karen Wilson’s specialties. Contributed photo

Name: Karen Wilson

Position: Owner and executive chef

Location: Crave, a catering company

First job: Working at a pizza shop

Background: Banquet manager at the DoubleTree Hotel for a year and a half. Before that, she was a lawyer. “I really didn’t like that.”

Best part of the job: “I love to cook and entertain other people.”

How her job came to be: After discovering she was gluten intolerant, Wilson had to change her approach to food. “I have always loved to cook and realized there was a need for specialty catering in the area.” She will adjust menus for dietary needs. “I’m very comfortable tinkering with recipes.” Crave also specializes in gluten-free cookies and cupcakes.

Worst part of the job: “Probably the marketing. I don’t mind going out and feeding people. It’s the going out and making cold calls or selling myself. I’d much rather be behind the stove. It’s hard to self-promote, but with my own business, I’m learning.”

Challenges: “Just getting into the market, making a name for myself, doing all the little start-up business side of things instead of what I really want to do.”

What she’s learning: How to delegate and ask for help. “They’re my recipes and my way of doing things, but I like to be able to oversee everything and be in control of the product I’m putting out. But when we get busy and it’s a bigger function, I’m realizing I do need help.”

How to make a career of it: “I’m still looking for a little advice myself, because I’m still trying to get going. You have to love what you do and love to spend long hours in the kitchen.”

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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