WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BREAKFAST?
Every morning I love starting my day by making oatmeal. I tend to go towards putting frozen blueberries on it with some banana and pecans and peanut butter. It’s super simple, but given my busy schedule, it’s really just perfect.
IS THERE A CHILDHOOD COMFORT FOOD THAT YOU THINK ABOUT?
So my grandma is Norweigan and we would always get Fiskekaker which is this fish cake that is deep fried. I know it doesn’t sound very appetizing but eating it as a child makes me very nostalgic. I would always get it from this Norweigan deli, and it’s a dish that really comes to mind when I think back to those times.
WHICH TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE THAT YOU DON’T POSSESS?
I’ve always thought about how nice it would be if I was musically inclined. I used to try to practice guitar and piano, but I never had the patience to continue. Recently I’ve been thinking about getting back into it again!
WAS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DO BEFORE YOU STARTED COOKING?
So I started to love cooking in 7th Grade and I had two short aspirations before that: fashion and videography. Soon I lost interest in both and realized that they weren’t for me.
OF ALL THE FRENCH PASTRIES, WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE TO MAKE?
I’m not the best at making French food, but I have tried baking vegan croissants and they have come out delicious every single time. I would say those would definitely be my favorite!
IS THERE ONE FOOD THAT YOU’RE SECRETLY OBSESSED WITH HAVING AT HOME?
Well I dont think its necessarily a secret, but I do love frozen mangos. They’re my favorite snacking food and I always have them in my freezer to nibble on. I don’t really know why but I love them.
IS THERE AN INGREDIENT THAT YOU DISLIKE?
So I really don’t like raw cherry tomatoes. I try my best to include them in other recipes because I know others love them, but I just can’t get my head around the texture…I don’t use them very often.
IF YOU COULD FIND OUT ANYONE’S SECRET RECIPE, WHOSE AND WHAT WOULD IT BE?
There is a place called Hot Cakes in Seattle that serves molten lava cakes. The owner of the shop is the best vegan molten lava cake chef and her creations are just to die for! I would love to be able to make that, so maybe someday I’ll ask her.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MEAL AND WHY?
Going back to the Norweigan side of my ethnicity, in Norway it is really common to consume meals that are just as simple as sliced deli meats, cheese, and bread. I tried to veganize it and I always enjoy it. I really love bread, and it’s more amazing when you make it yourself! I think those would have to be my most memorable meals.
WHAT MENTORS HELPED YOU ALONG YOUR JOURNEY OF BECOMING A CHEF?
I think my grandma has always encouraged me to get in the kitchen as well as my mom and dad. Whenever I’m in a creative trap and don’t seem to be in the mood to create new recipes they always push me out of my comfort zone to try new things. For that, I definitely owe it to my family for all the support they have given me.
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 haven’t personally worked traditionally as a chef but with my experience in the food service industry I find that sometimes men can be a little more direct with their orders and with what they expect out of you. Sometimes they don’t realize that women have emotions and thoughts. When working with women in the food industry, I feel like I am able to sympathize more and have them understand that this is a learning process that takes a while. Often that presents incorrect gender stereotypes, but oftentimes they are correct in the sense that men are more direct and women are more compassionate. I wish this wasn’t the case, and understanding that sometimes there are going to be differences is tough. Being open to learning and improving upon these things is, I think, the most important thing.
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?
Since we do have more time in the kitchen, I think it’s important to hone down on certain fundamentals, especially if you don’t feel entirely confident with what you are able to provide. It’s time to just go back to the basics. If you don’t feel comfortable with your knife skills then just keep practicing that until you are satisfied. Or if you feel you need to practice baking then start making a bunch of bread and find out the different processes behind each. I think you shouldn’t over complicate things… don’t expect yourself to make 4-course meals every day, but try to develop mastery of one thing at a time.
WHAT IS ONE POSITIVE AND ONE NEGATIVE EFFECT COVID-19 HAS HAD ON YOUR LOVE FOR MAKING FOOD?
I think that although I’ve had more time on my hands to spend in the kitchen and develop new recipes, I’ve found that my motivation and inspiration has gone down a little bit just because it’s been hard being isolated and not seeing people. But a positive flip to that is since I’ve been home more often, I’ve been surrounded by my family who has encouraged me to get back in the kitchen. I would say that’s how I’ve really gained my confidence back. Both go hand in hand I guess.
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN SPENDING YOUR TIME RECENTLY, HAVE YOU HAD TIME TO CREATE NEW RECIPES?
I think it’s important to find a balance. I would love to be busy making new recipes but I just can’t drop myself into work because I’ll get stressed about it. Due to recent events, I’ve stepped back from posting and creating new recipes and have moved onto reflecting on the injustices that are in our world right now. Blogging is really a passion of mine and I’ve been trying really hard to get back into it, although these are things that I need to work on.
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