Celebrity chef Anne Burrell seems to be everywhere these days. She has worked at several of New York’s top restaurants and hosts some of the Food Network’s most popular shows, including Chef Wanted, Worst Cooks in America and Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. Anne feels right at home in the kitchen, and says she would go crazy if she had to work in an office. She recently spoke about her career.
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- When did you first realize you had a passion for food?
- I feel like I have always had a passion for food my whole life. I have always loved food, cooking and hospitality for as long as I can remember.
- What was your first job in the food industry?
- Technically it was a fry cook at McDonalds, but I like to consider my first job working in the industry (in a real kitchen), was at a restaurant called Daniel Webster’s in Syracuse, New York in 1993
- Where was your first assignment as an executive chef?
- A restaurant called Lumi on the Upper East Side of New York, which is now closed
- Describe your culinary philosophy.
- Seasonality, simplicity, and deliciousness.
- What advice can you offer aspiring chefs?
- Get out there and try as much food as you can and work hard. Learn as much as you can and leave your cell phone in your locker.
- What are some of your favorite food and travel experiences?
- There are so many. Everywhere I travel I really try to immerse myself in the food, so I end up choosing places to travel based on the food I want to eat there. Some of my very favorite food experiences have definitely been in Italy.
- How does food enhance travel?
- Food always enhances travel because there is always something to learn about the food anywhere you go – it is a cultural thing. When traveling, you learn all about the people and their culture, which includes food. It becomes one big delightful and delicious education.
- Where have you discovered some of the world’s most innovative cuisine?
- I usually like more old school cuisine, but I would say that Barcelona, Spain had some of the world’s most innovative cuisine I’ve had.
- Can you list your Top Five Tips for Cooking Success?
- Plan your menu ahead of time.
- Read your recipe before you start cooking.
- Make sure you have great Mise en Place (do your prep work, first).
- Taste your food as you go.
- Have a glass of wine while you’re cooking.
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