1. What is your favorite sound/word in the kitchen?
My favorite sound in the kitchen is when you heat up a dry pan, add the fat and then immediately the food, whether it’s protein or onions, etc. I love that sizzle sound when the food hits the hot fat. Deep fry sound is a close second. It’s often a more quiet dispersed sizzle, kind of like small crashing waves and it always means something that will probably taste amazing and most importantly be crunchy!
My favorite phrase is definitely “hot behind.” It still makes me giggle and that keeps the atmosphere buoyant. My favorite word is “challah.” I have to say, “hollaaaaah” every time we bust out the challah bread. I know I’m not alone on this.
2. What is the most eclectic ingredient you have ever used? What did you use it for?
Well, it was actually a combination and condition of ingredients for a competition: par-frozen whole Thai snapper, par- frozen young coconut, par- frozen kohlrabi, and par- frozen dragon fruit. We had to prepare a dish with all of those things in a very short period of time.
3. How did you get into the business?
I had colon cancer when I was 17 and it was a huge wake up call to what I was putting in and on my body. After having lived abroad and eaten very well in Italy and Australia, I enrolled in an Alternative Nutrition Program at Cal State LA and became absolutely fascinated with food functionality. That led me to culinary school at the New School of Cooking in Culver City and so now my cooking is less about restrictive foods and more focused on food source and wholesome ingredients. I love what I do and couldn’t imagine being in a different profession.
4. What is in your chef bag? What knives do you use?
I’m so basic. My knives, a cork screw, and a thermometer. My knives are a Shun Santoku, a Wustof slicer, a serated knife, and a cheap Victorinox Carbon- Stainless 9”. I never seem to need much more than that.
5. What is your favorite kitchen tool?
My favorite kitchen tool seems to be a rubber spatula these days. I find myself turning around and always needing it again and again. It’s the best for egg cookery (omeletts, scrambles, souffles, removing frittata from the pan, etc.) It’s crucial for getting everything nice and tidy out of the food processor and other things so not a morsel is wasted! ”
6. If you only had 5 ingredients left in your pantry, what would they be?
Polenta, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, and white pepper.
7. What was the vision behind Taste of Pace?
The Taste of Pace brand started as a blog that allowed me to create a vision. I only wrote about things that inspired me and from here I developed a food, travel lifestyle brand including a catering company. Taste of Pace Catering is a full service catering company based in Los Angeles specializing in Western European Cuisine with international elements utilizing seasonal and local ingredients. It is my hope that the brand will expand into food/ travel media platforms and products.
8. What has been the most significant lesson you’ve learned by running and operating your own business?1. There is no problem that cannot be solved. 2. Everything is possible. 3. Persistence pays off.
9. So what are your plans in 2013?
Plans for 2013 are to triple my catering business. We should be on track if things continue the way they have been so far this year! I also anticipate more tv exposure and a new loft space for my events.