Chef Kate Van Rensselaer Rench first expressed herself through humble mediums with a BFA in sculpture and ceramics. To help support her art studies she starting her career in the kitchen, flipping burgers at the Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery in Boulder, CO, where she discovered her passion for cooking. She went to the French Culinary Institute, New York City, in February of ’98. After graduating with the Jacques Pepin award in September of the same year, she began her career at Jean-Georges Restaurant (Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s signature, four star restaurant in Manhattan). It was there that Chef Kate first felt her expression completely realized; technically innovative, delicately prepared French-Asian fusion cuisine.
After one year at Jean-Georges, Chef Kate was promoted to Chef de Partie of Garde Manger, where Kate remained for the next two years. Next, she spent two years as the executive chef at Hayday Country Market/ Balduccis in Westport, CT, where she managed a high volume prepared foods department.
Missing the mountains, she found herself back in the serenity of Steamboat Springs, CO, where she became part of Café Diva. After six months cooking here, Kate was offered the Executive Chef position and eventually partnership. Through her fresh, flavorful, seasonally changing menus, Chef Kate has earned top marks nationally with connoisseurs and critics, and most importantly Steamboat locals.
Since expanding the restaurant (we started with four tables), Café Diva has moved to the pinnacle of dining in Colorado, yet remains quaint in its destination, the Northern Rockies. Chef Kate balances her culinary career with her husband, Craig, her two dogs and her maniacal pursuit of mountain sports.