WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BREAKFAST?
Waffles, lots of butter, a little bit of syrup, and toasted pecans.
IS THERE A CHILDHOOD COMFORT FOOD THAT YOU THINK ABOUT?
My mom’s country ribs with Mac n Cheese.
WHICH TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE THAT YOU DON’T POSSESS?
I’d love to be able to sing!
WAS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DO BEFORE YOU STARTED COOKING?
Funny thing, I studied advertising in college, graduated, and was teetering between going to culinary school or photography school. I chose photography school, where I honed my craft as a food photographer, and paved the way to where I am now.
OF ALL THE FRENCH PASTRIES, WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE TO MAKE?
Ooooo, that’s a tough one because I haven’t made them all. I love to eat caneles, does that count?!
IS THERE ONE FOOD THAT YOU’RE SECRETLY OBSESSED WITH HAVING AT HOME?
Dark chocolate with hazelnuts.
IS THERE A FOOD THAT YOU DISLIKE?
Frozen and canned corn.
IF YOU COULD FIND OUT ANYONE’S SECRET RECIPE, WHOSE AND WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Olamaie’s biscuits and hushpuppies.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MEAL AND WHY?
There are two actually, October 15, 2014, chef’s counter at Nico Osteria in Chicago. Avery and I were on our honeymoon and the meal that Alexi and his team served us was stunning. The crudos alone took me around the world, oh! and wine! The experience was pure magic. A very close second was at Olamaie in Austin, every bite of food that entered my mouth was not only executed with precision but was incredibly thoughtful. I would eat there every night if I could.
WHAT MENTORS HELPED YOU ALONG YOUR JOURNEY OF BECOMING A CHEF?
Me, opening my eyes to my own possibilities. Outside of that, Rori Trovato, who I am sure would be shocked to see me list her name, but she played a huge role in my early journey. And, of course, my mom, who I watched and emulated for years. She created my foundation.
THROUGHOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY, HAVE YOU NOTICED A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KITCHENS THAT ARE RUN BY MEN VS. KITCHENS THAT ARE RUN BY WOMEN? IF SO, WHAT WAS THIS DIFFERENCE, AND HOW DID IT IMPACT THE OVERALL ENVIRONMENT WHILST PREPARING FOOD?
I have witnessed both sides of the spectrum; from nasty to nice. Both got the job done, but at what expense? I think you are shaped in any kitchen, and for me, they were all huge learning experiences in what to do and what not to do in order to achieve the same result. Kind and gentle kitchens foster the growth I am most interested in.
IT IS REALLY SAD TO SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING GLOBALLY. YOUNG ASPIRING CHEFS ARE LOOKING TO THEIR HERO’S HOW TO TURN PAINT INTO CREATIVITY. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE ON HOW TO TURN THIS DIFFICULT TIME INTO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE?
The current time in which we are living is no doubt incredibly trying for everyone. The emotions in which we are experiencing remind me of grieving, and they run deep. I can only speak from my own experience because while we are all in this together, everyone’s story is vastly different. What I have learned during these last couple of months is that I am resilient, I am malleable, and I can pivot. There is hope, yet there will be casualties in our industry, but there will also be growth as our new normal comes to light. “Pressure creates diamonds”, this phrase I read from Danielle Kartes of Rustic Joyful Food, struck me and has stayed with me, especially during this time when I feel overwhelmed, restricted, helpless and scared; but I continue to fight for my business and my industry with the intent of not only surviving but shining a little brighter.
WHAT IS ONE POSITIVE AND ONE NEGATIVE EFFECT COVID-19 HAS HAD ON YOUR LOVE FOR MAKING FOOD?
Avery and I have been home more often since COVID-19, and that has given me the opportunity to dive into more baking projects that I would not ordinarily have the time to do. On the other hand, I’ve missed ventures of cooking and entertaining friends; those meals together are so important and so many have been missed.
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN SPENDING YOUR TIME RECENTLY, HAVE YOU HAD TIME TO CREATE NEW RECIPES?
It’s rhubarb season, and I’ve been making rhubarb galettes and rhubarb custard pies. It’s been fun! While the banana walnut bread at the food truck continues to be a favorite, and Avery insists it can’t go anywhere, I am toying with the idea of bringing in some other sweet specials. Lavender shortbread cookies and mini banana cream pies are on the shortlist.
RESTAURANT CONTACT INFORMATION & SOCIAL MEDIA Santa barbara, CA, USA Layers Sandwich Co. e-mail: [email protected] instagram: www.instagram.com/layerssandwichco/ website: https://www.layerssandwichco.com/