essie negrete

Saw Shop Public House Sous Chef Essie Negrete

A Lake County resident since childhood, Sous Chef Essie Negrete credits her formative training to her grandmother and aunt, who taught the youngster the fundamentals of cooking and baking. According to Essie, her mother often said that, “she never pays attention, except for in the kitchen.” 

Essie’s career path started early, as she worked in the pear sheds alongside her mother as a young teen and then started cooking at McDonald’s at the age of sixteen. 

Essie was part of the 1995 opening crew and Kitchen Manager of the restaurant at Konocti Vista Casino where she remained for over a decade. She also served as the kitchen manager at Running Creek Casino. 

She credits the honing of her fine dining and desert skills to her study with  talented local chefs including Julie Hoskins and Mario Monroy of CHic Le Chef. “You learn something different from every chef,” says Essie, “It’s part of growing in the kitchen - to learn something new every day.” 

With culinary talents that range from soups to entrees, it’s Essie’s house-made desserts that tempt both the customers and staff to ignore their resolutions. These include variations on bread puddings, specially cheesecakes, creme brûlées infused with subtle flavors like vanilla bean or lavender and Essie’s personal favorite, tiramisu. 

Written and photographed by Casey Carney