Christina was born in California in 1971, and at the age of 10 moved with her family from Harbor Island, Newport Beach to San Juan Island in Washington State. Christina’s parents were prolific boaters, spending lots of time on an old 1920′s all wood 80′ vessel named Monsoon II, belonging to her father Ernie Kanzler, the adopted grandson of Henry Ford. As a child, Christina explored the San Juan Islands extensively, and filled her time with fishing, clamming, digging for oysters, and setting spot prawn and dungeness pots during crabbing seasons. She found inspiration to cook and developed a flair for Pacific Northwest Cuisine with the encouragement and support from Chef Paul Hudson, best known for his tenures at Rosario Resort, Bellingham Yacht Club and Washington Athletic Club.
Christina started her culinary career in 1995 working for San Juan Excursions as a naturalist/crew member. When a caterer backed out at the last minute for a Microsoft evening charter, she filled the gap and discovered what she wanted to do: follow her passion and express herself through food. Over the years, Christina has learned the value and meaning of impeccable service while working in many 5 Diamond Hotels as well as on board private yachts, cruise ships, and vessels for charter. Her clients have included Chris Pratt and Anna Faris, the Hilton family, Silverado, John and Tammy Browning of Browning Firearms, Richard Bach, Film Director Richard Donner and his wife Lauren Shuler Donner, and Annie and Jerry Moss of A&M Records.
Early in her career, she moved to Hawaii and was inspired by Chef Chai, the owner of world renowned Singha and Chai’s Island Bistro at Aloha Tower in Honolulu. She also learned the fundamental traditions of making sushi while studying under Chef Hiroshi, whose father was the fourth-generation Sushi Chef for the Emperor of Japan. Later she traveled to Italy and did independent study of Italian cuisine.
Eventually, Christina returned to the beautiful San Juan Islands, where she worked for 4 years as the Sous Chef for the Food for Thought Program preparing local and organic meals for 400-500 lunches a day for public and private schools in Friday Harbor. She also developed Sushi demonstrations and taught Chef 1.0 and 2.0 classes for the Food for Thought program. Following this Christina pivoted her culinary experience to blend it with work as a Washington State Certified CNA (Certified Nurses Assistant). She incorporated her passion for providing nutritional food with the unique needs of her clients in palliative care.
In 2017 Christina accepted a new challenge, signing on with ConocoPhillips oil tankers. Over the next five years, she quickly climbed the ranks of the male dominated industry and became the managing Chief Steward of the Polar Resolution, This also required her to maintain a Merchant Marine standing in the U.S. Coast Guard a position she first achieved in Honolulu HI in 1996. Today Christina uses these credentials serving on the Research Vessel Marcus G. Langseth for the ivy-league marine biologists working out of Columbia University, NYC. She spends 3 months at a time at sea and when off rotation still finds time to run her catering business Special Effects by Christina, work as a relief CNA, and for a LaCasse Crew agency where she’s flown in to relieve chefs on private yachts and charters.
In Christina’s spare time, she volunteers for Friends and Neighbors and the Food Bank, nonprofit organizations in San Juan Island.