For the past 14 years, Chef Dawn Walker has developed a passion for food, the culinary arts and teaching. She has worked with several families who struggle to find meals that all family members could eat because of food allergies, aversions and special diets.
It all started with Chef Dawn’s friend MC. Chef Dawn and MC were struggling to lose the baby weight from their pregnancies. They were on Weight Watchers. About that same time, MC’s daughter was diagnosed with severe food allergies to any nuts and strawberries. Over the past 14 years, Chef Dawn helped her family through her third child and husband’s allergies to gluten, rice, and corn. The challenge was finding healthy meals that all of the family members of her family could enjoy. MC’s situation inspired Chef Dawn to work with other families who were in similar situations. Chef Dawn has worked with people on all sorts of diets: Atkins, Weight Watchers, Paleo, Low Carb, Low Fat, Vegetarian, Vegan, Mediterranean, Nutri-System, Jenny Craig, DASH, FODMAP, SCD, TLC, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and Biggest Loser.
Chef Dawn has worked with people with allergies including:
- Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts)
- Fish (such as bass, cod, flounder)
- Shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp)
She has worked with clients who have aversions to food textures such as density, dryness, fracturability, graininess, gumminess, hardness, heaviness, moisture, mouth coating, roughness, uniformity, viscosity and wetness.
A good portion of Chef Dawn’s clients have children with challenges including ADD, ADHD, Autism, and Emotional and Behavioral Disorders.
Chef Dawn Walker spent the better part of 2009 through 2014 transforming the way the community at Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School had viewed school snacks, lunch and nutrition. From the snack shack to the farmers’ market project to opening a restaurant on campus, Chef Dawn was the driving force behind a campus commitment to developing student’s culinary skills and health knowledge.
In past lives, she sold insurance, performed medical and dental billing for physicians, was (and is) a Notary Public, earned her real estate appraisers license, wrote several food blogs and restaurant reviews, catered and taught culinary classes. Chef Dawn was the Food Services Director at SCVi and had a SNS (School Nutrition Specialist) designation. She also has a teaching credential in Career Technical Education in Travel and Hospitality including the Culinary Arts.
She is a wife of 17 years, mother and step mom of four daughters, an eloquent and animated speaker, and passionate about food, cooking and kids learning the tools they need to be successful in the kitchen. In her free time, she loves to read, travel and eat.