Chef Lo Instaview Part 2
What is your favorite thing to prepare?
CL: I don't if I could narrow down a single favorite thing to prepare. Pasta dishes, ceviche, and chicken & dumplings would probably top the list. Desserts of course... especially cheesecake, tiramisu, and tres leches (milk cake). PBF: What recipe still intimidated you?
CL: Grilling and cutting meat is intimidating to me. I'd definitely like to greatly improve my skills in those areas.
PBF: What is your feelings/ opinions on the current Farm-to-table trends?
CL: Farm-to-table is fantastic if the resources are available. Supporting local business is what makes smaller towns survive/thrive. In some instances, the best quality ingredients have to be purchased elsewhere.
PBF: I feel like Poplar Bluff is a difficult place to find many quality ingredients, do you struggle with this or have any favorite places you like to shop?
CL: Yes, depending on the season, vegetable and fruit choices are so limited. Making anything out of the ordinary poses an issue too because the ethnic foods sections in our grocery stores is minimal. When I cook, I tend to get ingredients from Aldi and Kroger. Baking products tend to come from Walmart and Kroger. I wish we had a whole foods type market (not specifically Whole Foods chain). I went to one in Springfield last year that was impressive, ...vanilla beans, lavender, herbs, spices... and I didn't have to sever a limb to purchase them. It was nice!
PBF: Many of my favorite shows on TV are cooking/food shows and I tend to follow several chefs on instagram, which celebrity chef do you follow?
CL: For me, meeting a celebrity chef would be equivalent to meeting an A-list movie star. Alton Brown ( @altonbrown ), Morimoto ( @chef_morimoto ), Gordon Ramsey ( @gordongram )... I'd squeal and act ridiculous if I ever met them. I'd love to bake with Ron Ben-Isreal ( @rbicakes ). He's brilliant.
The majority of people and pages I follow are chefs/food related. I am intrigued and excited by food. If they peak my interest, I'm in.
Part 3 Tomorrow
Foodie Insterview with a Chef
Over the last few weeks I’ve had the privilege of talking with the fascinating and talented Chef Lo ( @cheflo2016 ). She’s the Pastry Chef & Catering Manager at Bread+Butter ( @breadbutterpb ) and is responsible for some amazing creations such as the Moose Drool Brown Ale Cupcakes that B+B served at the Bootheel Beerfest.
PBF: Where did you learn how to make your amazing desserts?
CL: I have never attended formal culinary school. My training is all directly through restaurant and bakery experience, family, and self-taught.
PBF: When did you know that you wanted to make pastries and desserts for a living?
CL: I started making cheesecakes for friends and family when I was about 19. I always thought photography was my ideal career choice though. I grew up loving to cook and watching the matriarchs of my family making everything from scratch. The more I tasted things I ate elsewhere, the more I realized I could make it taste better. I very distinctly remember tasting red velvet cake for the first time, grocery store brand, and I was so disappointed. I read so many descriptions of it that would make my mouth water. I thought this can't possibly be right. So, I set out to make it myself, from scratch. Then came the ah ha moment. I had achieved it. If I could do that, surely, I could create more. When I figured out I was better than pretty good at baking, I decided to sell morsels to whoever would buy them.
PBF: Do you still do any photography?
CL: Yes I still take pictures....of food lol
PBF: Who was the biggest influence in your current career path and why?
CL: My kids are my biggest influence. They are all almost grown now but I wanted to do something that they could be proud of. Something that would make them say "yea that's MY mom". I think most single parents strive for that.
PBF: I can totally agree with that my kids are more of an influence than they will ever know.
Part 2 tomorrow.
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My Favorite Soup
Have you every had that one meal that just speaks to your soul? I'm talking about that one thing that you might consider eating exclusively until you give up the ghost. This may not be what everyone else would consider fine dining, but to you its perfect. Well, mine is a soup!
The soup of my soul starts with a broth that is a cloudy mix between beef and chicken. It's complemented with flour rolled slices of chicken and beef, then the typical Chinese vegetables of spring peas, bokchoy, onions, mushrooms and carrots. Finally a few tails of shrimp tops off the perfection. This soup comes one of four ways, with or without noodles, and mild or spicy. Honestly I've had it each way and it hits the same spot each and every time.
The soup that I speak of is the House Special Soup at Beijing Chinese Restaurant. This small restaurant serves many of the traditional Chinese dishes like Chicken Fried Rice, Crab Rangoons or Beef and Broccoli, but for me I always come back for the soup. Whether sick or well, happy or sad this hot pot of sudo-Chinese descent and heightened with lo-mein noodles makes everything right in the world.
In case you haven't caught my drift yet I highly recommend this dish as well as the restaurant. Beijing is a small diner with minimal parking and seating. The place is owned, and the food is prepared by a wonderful and friendly Latino family who know what they're doing. Just go and see for yourself, it's much more than you would expect. Now a word of caution, this dish is served hot enough to cause second degree burns and they bring a bowl of it big enough for bathing in. Take your time and enjoy the "nectar of the gods" it'll be worth it.
Please let me know where your soul pleasing dish is at.
We drove home in hail as fast and as safely as possible. Then we waited out the storm hoping the tornado wouldn't turn and head our direction.
And just as the bad weather popped up, it faded away. Welcome to Southeast Missouri.