Chara Gafford, Urban Chef

Urban Chef was founded in 2005 as Houston's first fully hands-on non-vocational culinary school. With stove and counter space enough for everyone to cook together we are able to offer classes in which everyone participates rather than simply watching a chef's demonstration.

Urban Chef is owned and operated by chef Chara Gafford. After receiving her bachelor's degree in philosophy from the Universtiy of Chicago she decided to pursue her passion for food and received her AAS in Culinary Arts from The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. She trained at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Chicago as well as with A la Baker catering company. Before launching Urban Chef, Chara owned Artisan Cakes, a specialty wedding cake company.

In addition to teaching cooking classes Chara is currently serving as the co-president of the Houston chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier, an international association for professional women in the culinary industry. She is a volunteer with Recipe for Success which works within public schools in Houston to transform the way children understand food and nutrition. Urban Chef also partners with non-profit organizations in the Third Ward to offer hands-on classes to young adults to enable and inspire them to prepare healthy meals for themselves and their families.