Chef Leah Pfeiffer



Degrees and Certifications:

Chef Leah Pfeiffer

It is an honor to be at Valley Tech. I'm a VA native and after a couple years away, I'm so glad to be back in my home state. 

I graduated from a program similar to the one I now teach, and it changed the course of my life. After high school, I attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY where I completed my BPS in Culinary Arts Management. 

After graduation, I drove across the country with my roommate and landed in CA for a short period before returning back to the east coast for a job at Primo Restaurant in Rockland, ME. After leaving Primo, I cooked at Polyface Farm for two years as their private farm chef and beside teaching--that is my favorite job that I've had. I've worked at several restaurants in Staunton and cherish the Shenandoah Valley for its abundance of interesting and high quality meats, produce, and dairy products. These local ingredients make our job easy as cooks and chefs.

In addition to my work in Maine and VA, I've been an intern at the Inn at Little Washington, a dishwasher at a bakery in my hometown, a blogger for my Culinary school, a server at an Italian bistro, a server with a catering company based in NYC, a sous chef at a fly fishing lodge in Patagonia, an intern on a farm, and a line cook at many different restaurants from casual sandwich spots to fine dining. 

Food that makes me happy: onions sizzled in bacon fat, grilled cheese sandwiches with creamy tomato soup, a classic Caesar salad, salted caramel brownies, and coffee....I am always ready for coffee.  

Proud moment as a teacher: When a student chooses to push forward and not give up when things go wrong. Sometimes...terribly wrong. 

Food philosophy: Taste your food, wash your hands, and balance the Salt/Fat/Acid/Heat (credit: Samin Nosrat)

Music to cook to: Khurangbin, Big Thief, Margo Price, Maggie Rogers, Leon Bridges, the Beatles

Words to teach by: "We're at our best when the table is long, all voices are valued, and we are valued as both teachers and learners." -Brene Brown



540-245-5002 ext 212