Washington State Chef's
Member Spotlight - June 2009
Member Since: 2004
I have always loved to feed people, even when I was young. I had 2 wonderful mentors, my grandmother who was a wonderful cook and made THE best hot rolls you ever ate, and my Dad who had been a cook in WWII in the European theatre and made the best oatmeal cookies and cowboy coffee. Both of them taught me there’s always someone who needs help, and in our family you helped people by feeding them. A meal became an emotional experience, either by what we ate and why, or by feeding others and the emotional experience that created. This bond was why I became a chef.
Every time I make bread I think of my grandmother. Every time I snap beans or shuck an ear of corn, I remember when I was a little girl and doing that after picking bushels in the fields to can, so we would have food for the winter. Every time I donate food to the food pantry, I think of my Dad and the countless bags of groceries we delivered over the years to folks who needed them. Cooking, and teaching others our skills passes those things on and creates experiences as well. That’s why we do what we do, and that’s why I am who I am. Because of those who came before and taught us what we know.
My true passion is:
There are many directions to go as a chef, but pastry has always been IT for me. Even when I was in high school, I must haved owned around 100 cookbooks and tried almost every dessert recipe in every one. I didn’t have anyone to teach me then, but I tried them over and over until I got them right. I still do that at home in my own kitchen.
In 5 years I would like to be:
A Culinary Arts Instructor
I have been working with Gary Fuller and the students at WSSC occasionally and really enjoy volunteering with the students. There are so many students out there who are amazing! I feel as chefs, we have the responsibility to train them up and inspire them to try as hard as they can. So many of them have extraordinary talents, and we should encourage their passion and creativity. If I can help encourage them and help them in anyway, it just passes the legacy on of those who took an interest in me and encouraged me.
What ACF means to me:
The ACF has been a part of my life for about 5 years now. My chef mentor, Chef Mike Dean in Yellowstone, encouraged me to join our chapter there when I worked as the Director of Employee Dining Rooms in Yellowstone. We were a small, but very active chapter. Mike taught me about being a professional chef and following the Culinarian Code. He taught me about the ACF and how not only the organization can help you, but how you can help the organization as well. It has been an avenue of achievement and direction for me. Becoming a pastry chef had always been a dream for me, and through both the encouragement of ACF members and education through the ACF, it is a reality. The ACF means an organization of people in this industry who have knowledge and credibility, and the ability to become something better…..someone better. I want to thank the people in our ACF chapter who have encouraged me to learn more, stretch myself and become more, and achieve a dream.
View her favorite recipe below…
WHITE CHOCOLATE TIRAMISU W/ POMEGRANATE INFUSION
We presented this for the first time at Mammoth Hot Springs dining room in Yellowstone as a Valentine’s dessert special. It’s easier than it sounds and the presentation is beautiful. Enjoy!
- 6 0z. Mascarpone cheese
- 2/3 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
- 24 lady fingers
White Chocolate Zabaglione, recipe follows:
- 2 Tbsp. whipping cream
- 1/4 cup white chocolate (chips, discs, block)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier (you may omit this if you wish)
- Add cream and white chocolate to a heavy, small saucepan. Cook and stir until chocolate discs are melted and smooth. Set aside and keep warm.
- Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and Grand Marnier in a bowl until blended. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, but do not allow the bottom of the pan to touch the water. (A Double Boiler may also be used). Whisk the egg mixture over the simmering water until it is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using a rubber spatula, fold the melted white chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate to chill completely. This mixture will have the consistency of pastry cream.
- Place the mascarpone cheese in a large bowl and set aside. With a mixer, whip the cream and ¼ cup of sugar in a bowl until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Then fold in the chilled White Chocolate Zabaglione. Cover and refrigerate.
- Warm the pomegranate juice over a low heat. Whisk the warmed pomegranate juice and the remaining ¼ cup sugar in a saucepan until it forms a simple syrup. Remove from heat and cool.
- Line a 9 1/4 x 5 x 2 3/4 Loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing the plastic to extend over the sides. Working with one lady finger at a time, dip the cookies into the simple syrup and arrange in a single layer side by side over the bottom of the prepared pan. Spoon 1/3 of the Zabaglione mixture over the cookies to cover. Repeat dipping the cookies in the syrup and layer the cookies and remaining Zabaglione mixture two more times. Dip the remaining cookies in the syrup and arrange side by side on top of the tiramisu. Press lightly to compact slightly. Cover the tiramisu with plastic and refrigerate at least 6 hours.
- Unwrap the plastic from atop the tiramisu. Invert the tiramisu onto a platter. Remove the plastic wrap. Slice and plate. Garnish with white chocolate curls and pomegranate syrup.