Chef and owner at Delaware and Hudson
Why did you become a chef?
I was always fascinated by the processes of cooking and baking. I fell in love with the culture of restaurants and kitchens.
Who's your culinary hero and why?
I have many and I admire anyone who can make a life in the world of food. I'm inspired by their resilience and craftsmanship.
Favorite pizza place in NYC?
I am excited for my old friend Ciro Verde (of Da Ciro) opening his new place. I like Motorino, and DiFara too. My favorite by-the-slice place is Joe's, which is right on the corner by my restaurant in Williamsburg.
Do you think female chefs face different obstacles than male chefs?
I think that women in most workplaces face different challenges than their male counterparts, so those challenges aren't limited to chefs. I think that for women working in intense, physically demanding environments with top-down, brigade-structured management and unpredictable hours, those challenges are enhanced. I spent a lot of my life being the only woman in the room, the locker room, the employee restroom, the prep kitchen and the line. Men can be very intense, and in the same way they are always proving their strength to each other, you need to prove your strength to them. I think women aren't really wired this way, and the urge to collaborate and share is stronger. I think for women with children, the unpredictability and long hours are difficult, and the pay of an entry-level cook will never pay for childcare. Growing up in kitchens, one thing that struck me was that the male chefs generally had a wife or girlfriend who took care of the back end of their lives; most women I knew, even those who were in relationships, had all of those things to take care of as well.
Favorite restaurant in NYC to go to with friends?En Japanese Bistro, Blue Ribbon, Pier I, Pearl Oyster Bar or La Vara.
What's your dream culinary project?
My restaurant is my dream culinary project. I only wish there were more hours in the day so I could do all the things I want to do.
Favorite music to cook to?
Depends on the day, sometimes it's the Clash, or the Pixies or the Cult. Other days it's Jason Isbell or Valerie June. Christmas Music is also my guilty pleasure.
What inspires you most as a chef?
Seasons and seasonality. Beautiful fresh ingredients!