The Occasional Chef - Serving Broward County and Ft. Lauderdale in Florida, Westchester in NY, Sussex and Morris in NJ and Fairfield in CT - Your Personal Chef for ALL occasions

About The Occasional Chefs~


Carol Wood

Carol WoodCarol is the former Head Chef of the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club, a renowned and historic private club located in northern New Jersey. She is trained and certified by the American Personal Chef Institute, and has received personal training and mentorship from one of the finest chefs in the country. Carol is an active member of the APPCA as well as owner of “The Occasional Chef” Personal Chef Service in Ft. Lauderdale; she is also a major contributor to local fundraisers, educational and religious organizations in her area. She is registered and licensed in Broward County, fully licensed and insured, and serve-safe certified. The Occasional Chef offers culinary excellence by continually researching unique cooking methods and updating creative, savory menu ideas on a regular basis.

Carol has two adult children who share her love of cooking and creative entertaining. Her daughter, Sarah, is featured below as Carol’s business partner and Manager. Sarah is unsurpassed as the perfect entrepreneur and friend!! Carol’s son, Jason, is also an excellent cook with superior culinary talents and energy. On those rare occasions when he is not trading stocks as a broker on Wall Street, he can be overheard on his cell phone, exchanging gourmet recipes and creative menu ideas with his mom! All three family members love to combine their culinary talents and will frequently get together to provide specialty GOURMET services for clients and friends. Needless to say, those are extremely festive, fun, and delicious occasions!

Carol hails from a large family, all of whose members share a common enthusiasm for cooking and “entertaining with style”. Her mother, Ellie, played a huge role in encouraging Carol to master the art of cooking. Ellie is well known for hosting elegant dinner parties and gracious gatherings throughout the years; she has always believed that moms who allow their kids to “experiment” in the kitchen are cultivating and nurturing the future chef enthusiasts of the world… a fun and positive philosophy which Carol appreciated and followed years later while raising her own children!

After receiving a BA degree in Elementary Education from Centenary College with Home Economics as her minor, Carol taught Kindergarten for over a decade, while continuing with part time Master’s studies at Jersey City College. Throughout the years, she has maintained a constant interest and continuous “hands-on” participation in the field of the culinary arts. Her love of children, combined with her passion for fine cuisine, subsequently resulted in her well-known and popular introduction to reading, math, science, social studies and art with students through the exciting, versatile learning experience of cooking. For many years to follow, Carol volunteered her extra-curricular talents and time by mentoring junior high students in an after-school program she formed, known as “The Gourmet Club.” For over twenty years, Carol also contributed to and cooked for numerous non-profit local organizations and culinary-based fundraisers within her community. Carol has also contributed continually through the years toward the Christian education of children, and has taken great pride in her rewarding efforts and strong beliefs.

Realizing and savoring her potential and great love of the culinary arts, Carol decided that she would one day focus her ambitions on starting her own business. Upon retiring from her teaching career, once her children were grown, Carol was offered the position as Head Chef of the L.H.Y.C., which was indeed a great honor and privilege. After five successful, innovating, and rewarding years at the yacht club, she became a member of the APPCA and started her own business in NJ. While absolutely LOVING the business yet yearning for warmer climate, Carol eventually followed her desire to move south and is now owner of her own Personal Chef business in beautiful Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Carol has been an active member of the American Personal Chef Association for the past six years; she is also a member of the Broward County Chamber of Commerce, the DAR, and the Council of Christian Women’s Organization of St. Sebastian’s Church. The Occasional Chef offers a wide variety of professional culinary services, gourmet food preparations, healthy dinner fare, private catering, and unique party planning expertise for ALL of your every day and special occasions.

Sarah Wood

Sarah WoodSarah is Manager of The Occasional Chef Personal Chef Service of Ft. Lauderdale, which she owns and operates with her mother, Carol. Sarah is an experienced personal chef and caterer, and has been assisting with orchestrating culinary extravaganzas since she was a young girl. She shares her family’s passion for entertaining and cooking, while continuing to pursue excellence and creativity in the field of the culinary arts. Carol and Sarah relocated their personal chef business from New Jersey, and are now thrilled to be working with numerous clients, families and businesses in beautiful south Florida!

After receiving her BA degree in Hotel-Hospitality Management from Farleigh Dickinson University, Sarah was trained and certified by the American Personal Chef Institute. Prior to managing the kitchen at a well-known children’s school in NJ, Sarah held the positions of Head Wait Staff and Assistant Prep Chef at the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club during the summer seasons of her college years. All of these wonderful opportunities in the “industry” offered Sarah the perfect segue into the innovative world of business, food services, and catering, and proved to be the hands-on experience necessary for managing a successful personal chef business. Sarah is now a member of the Ft. Lauderdale Chapter’s DAR, the JR. League of Ft. Lauderdale, and a CCW affiliate with St. Sebastian’s Church. Sarah is registered and licensed in Broward County, in addition to being an active member of the American Personal and Private Chef Association. She is CPR and AED Certified, Serv-Safe Certified, and fully insured by CNA. Her hobbies include fishing, swimming, and sailing, and she has recently taken up tennis and golf, all of which she thoroughly enjoys all year round! Sarah also loves decorating and fashion-- she has more shoes than you could ever imagine!

Sarah’s superior, avant-garde computer skills, combined with her creative and innovative managerial skills help provide The Occasional Chef with a fresh, up-to-date, contemporary, yet traditional flavor. Most importantly, Sarah’s enthusiasm for entertaining and cooking, blended with her charm and unpretentious, kindred spirit, all contribute toward making The Occasional Chef a unique and “personable” Personal Chef Service ~ a REAL recipe for success for any and ALL occasions!

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Member of the
Fort Lauderdale
Chamber of Commerce
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Fully Insured by CNA
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Member in good standing
Broward County Chamber
of Commerce