Christina was born in California in 1971, and at the age of 10 moved with her family from Harbor Island, Newport Beach to the 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 (adopted grandson of Henry Ford). As a child, Christina did a lot of exploring around the San Juan Islands, and filled her time with fishing, clamming, digging for oysters, and setting spot prawn and dungeness pots during crabbing seasons. This, along with encouragement and support from Chef Paul Hudson (chef for Rosario Resort, Bellingham Yacht Club and Washington Athletic Club), is where she found inspiration to cook and developed a flair for Pacific Northwest Cuisine.
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. After that day she knew what she wanted to do, follow her passion and express herself through food.
She then 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 later studied under Chef Hiroshi, whose father was the fourth-generation Sushi Chef for the Emperor of Japan, which is where she learned the fundamental traditions of making Sushi. After that she traveled to Italy and did independent study of Italian cuisine.
Christina currently resides in 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. Christina also expanded her culinary experience while working for the School District by teaching Sushi demonstrations and instructing Chef 1.0 and 2.0 classes for the Food for Thought program.
After working with the School District she became a Washington State Certified CNA (Certified Nurses Assistant) where she has incorporated her culinary experience to benefit the clients she did end of life care for, while maintaining her catering business Special Effects by Christina. She also continues to work for a LaCasse Crew agency where she’s flown in to relieve chefs on private yachts and charters.
Christina has worked in many 5 Diamond Hotels and understands impeccable service, and also has experience working on private yachts, cruise ships, and vessels for charter. Her clients include 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 (A&M Records).
In Christina’s spare time, she volunteers for Friends and Neighbors and the Food Bank, nonprofit organizations in San Juan Island.