My curiosity and love for food started at an early age. My mother was a working mom, so I learned to whip up sweet and savory food using everyday pantry and grocery store ingredients that required little supervision.
I approach life with a 'jump' sort of mentality, although I wasn't raised to take crazy risks. I was raised to be a crazy hard worker. It seems to be a pretty good match of qualities.
Know who you are and stay true to it. Have a point of view, keep your head down when noise tries to drown out your inner voice, and whatever you do, keep pushing.
I worked in a bunch of really tough kitchens, but when I got yelled at and screamed at, it wasn't really for being a woman. It was just for making a bonehead mistake.
Why not question what can or can't be a layer in layer cake?
I love a good challenge of looking with new eyes at a tried and true recipe in my recipe Rolodex.
For me, I love Portland. I love the food scene, I love the vibe, the environment.
When I get up early, I appreciate the quiet time to enjoy a coffee or water my plants.
I like to move around a lot - I'm a big runner, and I often get on a bike and ride from meeting to meeting.
As a boss, as a CEO, as a creative director, as a chef, I've learned that failure will always come. I've learned to give it a big squeeze, smile at it, humble myself to it and then use it as a springboard to send me on my way to strength, success, and fulfillment.
I chose a career in the kitchen because the thought of sitting and doing the same thing every day and being stationary was not something that I could get my head around.
My first season of 'MasterChef' was tricky. I took a risk going into TV. I was confident it was the right risk and confident I'd break down barriers as the first female judge - and one that was previously only known for the sweeter side of the kitchen.
Simple syrup doesn't taste like anything.
I never saw the light of day at Bouley. I remember I would bring home a roll of toilet paper a week because we got paid so little, if at all.
People underestimate the power of the root vegetable.