Chef Serena Poon is Director’s “Pretty Woman” in the Kitchen

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Director Garry Marshall with Chef Serena Poon
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Director Garry Marshall with Chef Serena Poon

Chef Serena Poon is a dynamic spirit in the kitchen.  The Le Cordon Bleu-trained private chef has a reputation for working hard to create delicious dishes that dazzle even the pickiest clients’ palate while fulfilling their often finicky nutritional needs.  This imaginative work results in a client roster that includes rock stars, sports legends and movie moguls.  Among them is Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall.

In mid-2000s, after Poon finished her time as a private chef to Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion, she met the acclaimed director Marshall at a charity event.  Taken by her spirit, he hired her on as his private chef — she continues delivering her nutritious meals to

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Chef Serena Poon with Garry Marshall (R) and cast of New Years Eve

his office even now.   With each meal, the results and her performance inspired him.  Soon, he requested a camera test to see if the lens appreciated her charm as much as he did. Poon, who had never been in front of an intimidating movie camera before, was nervous and had to set her trust on Marshall and rely on his demeanor to guide her.  Poon exclaims “It was nerve-racking.  I looked at all the wrong places.  I said my lines at all the wrong times.  But then he let me do it again.  Garry has a way of calming you down and shining a spotlight on your best qualities.  He helps you shine.”

Director Garry Marshall has made stars out of many of Hollywood’s leading ladies.  Most notably Julia Roberts in 1990’s Pretty Woman and Anne Hathaway in 2001’s The Princess Diaries.  Both women have returned to his projects in recent years with Valentine’s Day.

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Chef Serena Poon with Director Garry Marshall at New Year Eve premiere

Clearly Marshall liked what he saw, because Chef Serena quickly became one of his go-to talents.  First appearing in his blockbuster hit “Valentine’s Day” alongside Ashton Kutcher.  Then a year later in 2011 she took on a stronger role in “New Years Eve” as both actress, performing alongside Katherine Heigl, Sofia Vergara and comic Russell Peters, as well as the cooking consultant to make sure everything the actors did looked as real as possible.

While Chef Serena Poon enjoys the fun of being in front of the camera, her passion lies with food.  She continues to receive movie offers and when possible fits them into her busy schedule.  In addition to movies, she has appeared on several cooking shows and continues to field offers for a cooking show of her own.  But for now, her biggest priority is creating delicious dishes for her clients.

Much like the other leading ladies, Serena swoons for Garry Marshall.  “I’ll cook for him anytime.  If he wants me in one of his next movies, all he has to do is ask and I’m there.  I’d work on any project for Garry”.

Find Chef Serena Poon at Simple Sexy Cuisine on Facebook, follow @ChefSerenaPoon on Twitter,  read Chef Serena Poon’s blog.