As executive chef of both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, Christine Weissman strives daily to improve the quality of the dining experience for Disney theme park guests.
She brings more than 25 years of culinary experience, leadership and innovation to her role, which focuses on concept development and new menus; guest satisfaction with improved transaction times; and safety, quality and consistency of all of the parks’ food-service options.
Most recently, Chef Weissman was executive chef for Disney Cruise Line, where she focused her efforts on food standards and menu development for the two most recent additions to the fleet, the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy. She also was responsible for allergy and special diet initiatives, product evaluation and selection, special event coordination, crew and leadership rotations, and menu and collateral design.
Weissman has moved through the culinary ranks in a variety of roles during 16 years with The Walt Disney Company, including a position as executive chef of Epcot where she created innovative menus and directed the year-round preparations for the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. She has been chef de cuisine of catering at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and MagicKingdom, specialty chef in the Biergarten Restaurant at Epcot, chef at Seasons Dining Room at the former Disney Institute, and she was on the opening team at Disneyland Paris.
Before joining Disney, she was sous chef at Windows on the World, Cellar in the Sky in New York City. She has held additional culinary positions in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Weissman is a certified Master Chef (Meister Pruefung I.H.K.), and is also certified at Level One by the Court of Master Sommeliers.
She recently appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America for the rollout of the Disney Fantasy, and has twice been the featured chef at events at New York’s prestigious James Beard House.
Weissman and her husband Joost have two daughters, Kimmy and Sabrina.
Christine Weissman at a Glance:
Describe your culinary style.
Classical cooking techniques, combined with personal experiences in the kitchen – wonderful flavors, original presentations and harmony with seasonal ingredients
I have two big inspirations. My father, Dieter, gave me the opportunity to work in our family-owned restaurant as a dishwasher, and taught me the basic culinary skills. Also, I trained under Martin Oexle, a celebrity chef from Germany, who taught me the key to success in the food and beverage business is all about detail.
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
That every day is a new adventure, and that I can share my knowledge and skills with my team and watch them develop their culinary abilities to become successful professionals. I love to develop menus and food items that challenge my skills as a chef and that create experiences for our guests that they will remember for years to come.
What are some of your favorite dishes to prepare?
- Westphalian potato pancakes with smoked salmon and sour cream drizzle
- Whole roasted red snapper on a fingerling potato and tomato ragoût
- Sweetbread and lobster ravioli, braised fennel, and truffle
- Tete de Moine with homemade Champagne kraut
Favorite kitchen gadget?
Spaetzle board. I like to make spaetzle the old fashioned way (“scharped from the board”). I often do this with my daughters at home.
Favorite snack food? Secret culinary indulgence?
For a snack, cheeses with a baguette and a little wine.
What food holds childhood memories for you?
Oxtail ragout—this dish reminds me of my grandmother, and Cordon Bleu, a breaded veal loin stuffed with ham and cheese.