Grandma’s Cooking/Culinary School Helped Mom Launch Late Career


Daughters Following in Footsteps for Mother's Day Treat

"Even as a child my daughter Rebecca would say, Mommy, you are a good cooker, you should be a chef", said Teresa Licato McCartney. Born and raised in a family where cooking has been a passion for generations, McCartney as a child learned heritage Italian dishes from her grandmother. An exceptional cook by her teens, McCartney had always wanted a culinary career, but her husband and three daughters came first. Delicious recipes with her personal twists were shared with just family and friends for years. But after the children were in school and with encouragement from the kids and husband, Jason, McCartney decided it was time to put her seasoned skills to work.

She began working part-time at Gourmet Gang, as well as catering for friends. She then enrolled at ECPI University's School of Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of Virginia (CIV), completed the school's externship program at One Fish - Two Fish restaurant and graduated in 2010 with an Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts. Today she is the Executive Chef for Aramark/Cox Communications at the corporate headquarters in Chesapeake.

"I had a hands-on, invaluable learning experience growing up and working, but I wanted to get the professional and technical skills training that CIV offers," said McCartney, a 30-something Virginia Beach resident. "Through my education at CIV, I have learned proper French culinary techniques and vocabulary, while enhancing my knowledge and use of fundamentals such as sauces, soups, stocks, knife skills, baking skills and butchery. I would definitely say these core skills have helped me the most throughout my career."

"Teresa clearly has a passion for food and that's something you cannot teach," says Andy Gladstein, CIV Campus Director in Norfolk. "What we do is channel that passion with world-class instruction to help aspiring chefs achieve their greatest potential."

McCartney wears many hats at Cox, from day-to-day operational management, menu design, inventory, hiring, ordering and, of course, cooking. Some of her old family recipes are among patrons. favorites, including chicken Marsala, lasagna and vegetarian baked ziti. As McCartney works her magic at the office and most evenings at home, her daughters, ages 16, 14 and 7 are following her culinary footsteps. They will make their own homemade breakfast dish (mom inspired recipe) for Mother's Day.

"I've been teaching them some of grandma's, my mom's and my secrets and they're catching on nicely," McCartney said. "I think they're going to make me a special French toast with fresh vanilla bean whipped cream, fresh strawberries and a fruit salad. They'll do something fun and maybe with a surprise."

Mother's Day Breakfast Recipe:

Vanilla Bean French Toast (Serves 4)


  • 1 cup light cream or milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Vanilla Bean (slice the pod down the middle and scrape out the bean with the back tip of your knife)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 slices of Your Favorite Bread (my girls use honey wheat because I love it and we always have it)
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • Confectioner's sugar for garnish
  • Fresh strawberries sliced
  • Sliced almonds

In a bowl or glass baking dish, whisk together the cream, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean and vanilla extract, until well combined and sugar is dissolved. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet or griddle pan, over medium heat. Be sure not to brown the butter. Soak each slice of bread in the custard mixture coating all sides well. Add 4 bread slices to hot pan and saute approximately 3 minutes on each side, until the toast reaches a rich and crispy golden brown. Repeat this method with remaining butter and 4 slices of bread. Sift powdered sugar over each slice. Serve with warm maple syrup and garnish with fresh sliced strawberries and sliced toasted almonds.

If you would like to interview Ms. McCartney for a profile and/or Mother's Day story, please contact me, Scott McCaskey, at Goldman & Associates Public Relations at: 757- 625-2518 or at: [email protected].

About The Culinary Institute of Virginia

Culinary Institute of Virginia, the School of Culinary Arts at ECPI College of Technology, opened for enrollment in fall 2006. Graduates can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in culinary science in less than two years. The curriculum offers a European educational model that combines classroom instruction with hands-on [ Continue Reading... ]

About ECPI University

ECPI University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, and masters degrees and diploma programs. With campuses in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, ECPI, a private university established in 1966, offers convenient classes during the day, evening, [ Continue Reading... ]


Release Date: 
Monday, December 14, 2015