Chef’s Roll was thrilled to feature Sarah Betcher as a winner of our Center Stage program at the MAPP Restaurant Reset Conference 2022.
377 amazing women in culinary applied to Center Stage, and Sarah was one of four chosen to receive an all expense paid trip to the event and be introduced to prestigious female mentors like Mary Sue Milliken, Tanya Holland, and Emma Bengtsson. Along with the other winners, Sarah was given the opportunity to let her skills shine at our showcase on Monday night. Check out the video below to see her incredible dish!
After the event, we asked Sarah a few questions.
Tell us about your journey so far!
I’ve always had a love for baking. I remember being little and using a step ladder to make cookies for my brothers. In my teen years I was the designated birthday cake baker for my friends. In 2008 I decided to go to pastry school and ended up being accepted into an ACF certified apprenticeship program in Williamsburg, Virginia for almost 4 years. I’ve worked every station in a kitchen; the hotline, butchery, garde manger, saucier, banquets and of course pastry. Most of my experience has been in luxury resorts, but I also owned my own cake shop in Germany for a few years.
Who have been the most important mentors for you? What have you learned from them?
Two people really stand out in my culinary career. First is Chef Travis Brust, executive chef of The Williamsburg Inn & director of my apprenticeship program. He instilled hard work & dedication into my skill set and I wouldn’t be who I am today without the knowledge & time he gave to my education. Second is Chef Kevin Dubel. I’ve worked with him at multiple properties as well as collaborated on private events. He has given me credit for everything I’ve ever done while working with him and truly listens to my ideas and opinions. It really is a breath of fresh air working with him.
Tell us all about your experience with Center Stage and the MAPP conference.
Being at the MAPP conference was an eye-opening experience. I have not worked with many women at any of the properties I’ve cooked at, let alone any of them being in positions of power. It was great to be able to relate to how they feel and to be surrounded by so many people who really just want to see you succeed.
What does the future hold for you?
I recently was asked to help open a new restaurant at the Virginia Beach oceanfront. The concept is an art gallery with chef-forward private dining. I’m excited to be able to focus on the details of my craft and give this area the elevated experience that it’s lacking.