Dec. 7, 2020

Pastry Chef Monica Glass on Exploring Opportunities Outside of Restaurants

Pastry Chef Monica Glass on Exploring Opportunities Outside of Restaurants

On this week's Chefs Without Restaurants podcast, I speak with Philadelphia pastry chef Monica Glass. Upon graduating from Penn State, Monica moved to New York City to embark on a career in public relations. But after a brief stint in the corporate world, she realized she felt more at home in front of an oven than behind a desk. Monica set out to improve her culinary skills with an apprenticeship under Deborah Racicot, executive pastry chef at New York City’s Gotham Bar and Grill. After seven months of moonlighting as an extern, Monica enthusiastically joined the team at Gotham Bar and Grill full time. She continued to develop and refine her skills, working with chefs Michael Laiskonis, Eric Ripert and Ken Oringer, to name just a few.

In 2015, Glass moved back home to Philadelphia to accept the role of Corporate Pastry Chef with Constellation Culinary Group, where she oversaw the pastry program for company operations from Massachusetts to Florida for 4 years. After working in high prestige, high volume kitchens for the past 15 years, Monica is now embarking on a new adventure on her own consulting with restaurants, bakeries, cafes, brands, and food and lifestyle publications, as well as navigating the virtual class landscape and building a brand herself. 
==========

Monica Glass
  ==========

Monica's Instagram https://www.instagram.com/chefmoni/
Monica's Website http://chefmonicaglass.com/
Monica's Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/chefmonicaglass
Monica's Twitter https://www.facebook.com/chefmonicaglass

================

CONNECT WITH US

 ================

SUPPORT US ON PATREON https://www.patreon.com/chefswithoutrestaurants
Get the Chefs Without Restaurants Newsletter https://mailchi.mp/fe0d8a0cc7a6/chefs-without-restaurants-email-list
Visit Our Amazon Store (we get paid when you buy stuff) https://www.amazon.com/shop/perfectlittlebites?isVisitor=true

Check out our websites (they have different stuff) https://chefswithoutrestaurants.org/ & https://chefswithoutrestaurants.com/

Like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/chefswithoutrestaurants

Join the private Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/chefswithoutrestaurants

Join the conversation on Twitter https://twitter.com/ChefsWoRestos

Check our Insta pics https://www.instagram.com/chefswithoutrestaurants/

Founder Chris Spear’s personal chef business Perfect Little Bites https://perfectlittlebites.com/

Watch on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHXxixMxjf05XxUIbz6ER-Q

If you want to support the show, our Venmo name is ChefWoRestos and can be found at https://venmo.com/ChefWoRestos. If you enjoy the show, have every received a job through one of our referrals, have been a guest, , or simply want to help, it would be much appreciated. Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.

 

Transcript

Chris Spear:

Welcome to the Chefs Without Restaurants podcast. I'm your host Chris Spear. On the show. This week, I have pastry chef Monica Glass. Monica grew up in West Chester, Pennsylvania and attended Penn State. Upon graduating, she moved to New York to embark on a career in public relations. But after a stint in the corporate world, she realized that she felt more at home in front of an oven than behind the desk. So she set out to improve her culinary skills with an apprenticeship in New York City's Gotham Bar and Grill. After seven months of moonlighting as an extern. She enthusiastically joined the team there full time, and there was no looking back. Welcome to the show. Monica.

Monica Glass:

Thank you for having me, Chris. So great to be here. It's an honor.

Chris Spear:

Thanks so much for coming on. I'm glad we could catch up.

Monica Glass:

Likewise, I know it's been a while since I've seen you. It's usually every year at StarChefs.

Chris Spear:

Yes. Oh, so sad. I've talked about that with so many guests. I've had so many of them. And they're all the people who I see every year and, you know, no star chefs this year, but hopefully 2021 will be the year to reconnect.

Monica Glass:

Yes, fingers crossed for that.

Chris Spear:

It's funny, it seems like you and I have a lot of locations in common. I did a little time in Westchester there. I lived there for about five years. I'm in in Frederick now. And I know you have some family out this way. And then I also grew up in the Boston area and you worked up there. So I don't think we've ever been in the same area at the same time.

Unknown:

Now, but the next time I do go to Frederick, let's get some coffee. Sounds good.

Chris Spear:

I loved Westchester was a nice little town. I don't know if quaint is the word but you know, my wife went back to school and we ended up in in Westchester. She went to Westchester you so we were there for a couple years. I really liked it. But it was that time that I really fell in love with Philly, I guess as much as you can fall in love with Philadelphia is

Monica Glass:

Philly is it's a very unique city. It's very gritty, there has its own personality. But you know, you can't not love it. Like everybody who lives there just loves it and touts how, you know, amazing the city is.

Chris Spear:

it really grows on you. And I was there during I think what was kind of the beginning of like the the restaurant boom, you know, like, about the time I guess like a Mata had just opened. You know, I think vettery was just starting to get some acclaim Mark hadn't opened any other restaurants yet. That was his only one. And that's kind of when we moved to the area and just kind of then seeing Philadelphia explode. From there. It's been great. And I love going up there and eating as much as I can actually I was just there in February for the Philly chef conference. And that was the last thing I did before COVID. I was there. The first week in February and things felt kind of normal, you know, and I was like, hugging people, no first week in March rather. And we're still you know, sharing food and giving hugs and interacting with people. And the last restaurants I went out to were were there in Philly. And then that was about it.

Unknown:

I know I i bummed I missed the Philly Drexel chef's conference this year, I had scheduled conflicts.

Chris Spear:

So you didn't go to school for culinary. So what's kind of the path that got you from going to school for what was it communications,

Unknown:

specifically, I went for film and video and while I was in college decided to switch to public relations, because I just didn't feel like I was going to be as successful as I wanted to be with film and video. Although some of those skills have kind of came into play a little bit during our quarantining and with public relations. I really loved writing. And that was another avenue that I wanted to explore and journalism. And I thought maybe I could go into some sort of thing about that. And so that's, I graduated with a degree in public relations and business moved to New York City because it was either New York or LA at the time, for a career in PR, I decided that once I started working in PR, it's definitely a lot of glitz and glamour. And it was fun, but it wasn't soul fulfilling. And what I realized is that I kept gravitating towards the food clients, the chefs, the culinary events, the cookbook authors that we had, and really took a liking to one of ours, Maureen Petroski. She wrote the wine cookbook at the time. She's and she's from the Philadelphia area. So we just had a immediate connection. And she convinced me that if I really wanted to learn how to cook better, that maybe I should just make a list of my top 10 restaurants and chefs in New York City and ask, go down the list and ask if I can intern for free. And so that's what I did at the top of my list was Deborah sakata Gotham Bar and Grill I had never tasted her food but I really admired everything that I've read and seen. And at that point, I wasn't really sure whether I wanted to get into savory or pastry but then learning more about her and her style that everybody eats with your eyes. So everything has to be pretty but at the end of the day, it has to be taste or taste delicious because that is what people are going to remember. Just kind of inspired me to go in the direction of pastry because I also have that there. Scientific, figured out why we do things and understand why things work the way they do mind. And plus the artistry and it's a little something extra that, you know, makes people smile.

Chris Spear:

Do you think it could have gone the other way? Like if you had decided to go work for a savory or a savory chef, do you think you could have gone down that path and ultimately been like an executive chef in a restaurant as opposed to a pastry chef?

Unknown:

Very good question. I hadn't really thought about that before. The only thing that I know is I don't like breaking down animals or killing animals. I will eat them. So I don't know if I would have survived.

Chris Spear:

Yeah, that's really hard. My wife when I met her, she went to to john Johnson oils for culinary like I did. She was a vegetarian when I met her and she absolutely hated those classes. I mean, she did them and had to, but it wasn't really a big hurdle for her. She cooked for a very short window of time. She's no longer in the food business. But yeah, that's not her thing. She still doesn't even really want to be around if I'm like butchering me.

Unknown:

Yeah, I totally feel her.

Chris Spear:

So after working there, where did you go? Like, what was your I know, you've worked for some really amazing chefs, including Eric repair, Michael excursionists. Ken oranger. How did your path kind of evolve through those restaurants and with those chefs?

Unknown:

So my path evolved? I would say it's kind of twofold. One, I've always been a perfectionist, and I always reach for the best. So I just, you know, made contacts and continually asked people questions, and can I work for you? can I learn from you not even thinking, you know, I would get hired at the next stage. But more I like to stop places. And so I emailed Michael askance out of the blue, I told him I loved his writing really resonated. And I really want him to learn from him. So he invited me in one day for a Stosh. And I was hired that same day, which I didn't even expect. And I also just feel like I was in the right place at the right time. And I, I believe in luck, and I feel very lucky. But also you create your own luck, which is kind of what I did.

Chris Spear:

Yeah, definitely. I mean, there is something to being in the right place at the right time. But also, you know, you lay the groundwork, right, like you make those connections, you work really hard. And then that's kind of what you kind of can leverage to to get those opportunities to come about. Right.

Unknown:

Exactly. Exactly. Working for so many of those chefs, were

Chris Spear:

there any best practices that you consistently saw? Like, what did you, you know, I really like looking at people at the top of their game, and you've worked for some really amazing chefs. What did you see as similarities in those kitchens? Are

Unknown:

there a lot of things that you saw that everyone was doing? There are definitely a lot of similarities, similarities between the chefs that I've worked for, I would say organization, and cleanliness were key to being able to perform our jobs well, and then once we had that, it was just kind of diving in and not being afraid to try new things to try new ingredients, or recipes or ask questions. I always loved to ask questions. And they were all very open with giving me answers. Whether it was, I don't know, let's figure it out. Or they would tell me exactly their reasoning behind why they did something.

Chris Spear:

Yeah, that's great. So many chefs are the because I said, so chef, or that's the way we do it in this kitchen. And to have chefs who are really open to exploration and teaching. The younger generation i think is important. I think there's not always a strong sense of mentorship and a lot of kitchens. And it's really great when you find those chefs who really want to work with you and teach you.

Unknown:

Absolutely my I was very lucky that to have such great mentors, and my chefs were not, you know, secretive or keeping things to themselves or not wanting people to grow, they all wanted us to grow.

Chris Spear:

So every chef has their own take on things. Where do you find inspiration? What when you want to create a new dessert, because now you're an established pastry chef, and you want to create a dish, where do you start?

Unknown:

So I typically start kind of by the season. So seasonality is very important for me what ingredients are unveiled available to us. And I typically love to highlight fruits and vegetables. I'm not so much a chocolate person, but I understand that everybody loves chocolate. So I'll usually start there. And then the real inspiration for me comes from outside of the kitchen, when I'm going to do other things. Something will spark my memory or my I don't know, there might be a building and it kind of gives me some architectural inspiration for the design I want to create. And I think that's really important is stepping away from your every day to feel an inspiration from nature and everything else within the world.

Chris Spear:

No, definitely. I have started walking a lot and I do it in the morning. It's one of the first things I do. So I get up early in the morning and I go out by myself, and I'll sometimes listen to a book or something but quite often I'll either just listen to instrumental Music or just some or nothing at all. And I think just having your head kind of clear where you can take in all those things and let you let yourself get lost in your thoughts, that's been really helpful for me. And then I'll occasionally have to take out my phone, because I'll give myself a voice memo as to, you know, something I thought of, but I find some of my best ideas coming from from that quiet time.

Unknown:

Absolutely. And it's such a great idea to do the voice memo. I'm always taking notes on like, my phone.

Chris Spear:

I have become addicted to doing all voice to text on my phone, it started a couple months ago, and I just love it, I find that I can speak faster than I can type. Even for like the show when I'm thinking about how I'm going to introduce you and show notes. I'll open up the notepad and then I'll hit the voice thing, and then I'll dictate what I want to say, because I can get it out so much faster than sitting there and typing it out.

Unknown:

Yeah, I'll use that idea.

Chris Spear:

So then one of the other things is you're you're diagnosed with celiac, correct?

Unknown:

Yes, I was, I would say about 10 or 11 years now I kind of forget when exactly it was but yeah, that was a life changing.

Chris Spear:

Yeah. And how did that affect you in the kitchen? I mean, did you think you were going to be able to continue working as a pastry chef, like What went through your mind when when you realize that I mean, not having flower seems like a pretty big deal in a kitchen.

Unknown:

Yeah, it felt pretty defeating. At first, I was constantly sick. My good friend, Nicole, who I met, working at 10 Arts, and actually Jenny Carroll, too. They're constantly telling me how green I looked in, like my skin, and I just looked very sick, I was probably 20 pounds lighter than I am right now. And I just I felt defeated, like, with that diagnosis that I would have to give up what I love doing, but I can't taste anything, then how can I make it? But then I, the more that I started to think about it and realize there aren't that many great gluten free products out there. Now there are but this was, you know, 10 years ago or so. So what if I took it as a challenge instead, to try to create delicious tasting foods that everybody can eat won't segregate out the celiac people or the allergen people. And, you know, everybody can enjoy something together that nobody would realize is gluten free.

Chris Spear:

Yeah, I love that I being a personal chef, you know, one of the benefits is that I make a custom meal for all my customers. So you know, I have a lot of people who come to me because they have allergies because I can accommodate all them. But what I found is that it actually wasn't that challenging. So like my cheesecake. Now I do as a crustless. And I bake them in ramekins and serve them in ramekins. And then the, the crust component goes on top. So it's really nice that if you have a party of eight people, you know, and one has celiac seven people I can do you know, a pretzel crumb or something on top and the one person who doesn't, you they can have the same cheesecake and they can have the same fruit compote or whatever. So a lot of my recipes now I've modified so that they're really easily adaptable for celiac or vegan or something like that. And I just find, you know, it must be great to be able to eat foods. That seemed like the same foods that everyone else can eat. Because I was I was actually a vegetarian for a while. And you know, like, that was 20 years ago, and all you got was like a plate of vegetables or like a portobello mushroom burger. You'd see all these people get like shrimp and grits and now I have this portobello mushroom. It's like Wow, that's really lame. Like, why couldn't you do something more interesting. And I'm sure with celiac, it's, it's the same thing. But hopefully easier for you now as a diner,

Unknown:

it's definitely much easier now I feel like with it becoming more mainstream, it's great in a way that people have learned to adapt it into their cooking styles and restaurants and everything but then it's also not necessarily taken seriously which could be a bad thing. But overall, I can definitely eat a lot better now.

Chris Spear:

So what are some of your favorite desserts to make you said you like to work with a lot of fruit not chocolate as much. I'm kind of the same way do you have favorite things that you have built into your repertoire?

Unknown:

One of my favorite things actually was a dessert that I made it kleos a citrus creamsicle obviously different parts to make up the cream school as a whole but it was a kefir lime. Semifreddo with a white chocolate biscuit cake. A lot of different citrus fruits as such as Buddha's hand mellow Blood Orange, forget what else I use kumquats, somewhere candied somewhere pickled somewhere fresh finger limes. I love finger lines, and then a blood orange soup. And Setsuna tangerine sherbert. That was one of my absolute favorite desserts I've ever done.

Chris Spear:

Wow, that sounds like so many ingredients and so complex.

Unknown:

I like to do things in layers because you know, when you take a bite, you want different elements in different layers to kind of hit you palette.

Chris Spear:

You know, Ken and Jamie, they have my favorite restaurants. When I go up to Boston, I'm always eating at one of their restaurants. I wish I could have gone to Clio when you were there. But I just I love those guys and what they're doing up there. And I think all their places are just fantastic. Me too.

Unknown:

They're some of my absolute favorite people. So what are you doing now, most recently was the corporate pastry chef for constellation culinary group for four years, and left them last year, and had been working as a sole proprietor consulting with a few other restaurants and bakeries, and kind of trying to build that, as well as trying to figure out how to make do my own brick and mortar. And that was pre COVID. Thank God, I did not find my space. Because I don't know where I'd be right now if you know if I had found my space before COVID. But now I've just been trying to really navigate the virtual and online scene. So I have been doing a lot of videos where my film and video background comes in to handy. Very amateur though. So I'm working on building that up. And I'm also working with a new media company called Giambi, just one more bite yum. out in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. And together, we're going to create more videos and more food related content. Hopefully, I'll springboard more some courses out of that, and some more classes. And then I've also been teaching virtual classes, cooking classes, in my home kitchen, mostly for corporate companies right now like Comcast, University of Pennsylvania, at Lassen, bunch of different corporate companies, and I'm working on building my social brand of that, so I can hold it, post it on my own platform, and have you know, everyday people at home also sign up.

Chris Spear:

It definitely sounds like having the background in that is helpful, because now everyone's trying to do that. And I think it's really hard. I mean, people have asked me, it's like, I don't even know where to begin. I mean, I could throw my laptop and my webcam up there. But it's not going to have the same production value. As someone who really knows what they're doing.

Unknown:

Well, I don't have all that fancy equipment. So that's basically what I am doing is just throwing my computer and my webcam

Chris Spear:

up. But you do have I mean, you have skills, thankfully, you know, I think you can do a really great job. And I've seen people do a good job with it. I don't even know what I would begin to do. But so many people have have started doing that. It's just not something I've wanted to jump in. But maybe I'll have to take a class when you start doing I'll do pastry classes, for sure.

Unknown:

Awesome. I would love to have you join us. I've also been doing more volunteer work for C cap, I did a few things for safely eats helped a friend who was losing her restaurant at the time just so she gets some free labor. And and I'm also expanding my role with C cap now, which is career suit, culinary arts programming,

Chris Spear:

they teach people or young people how to get a job in the food service business. Is that right? That is correct.

Unknown:

Through mentorship, career reading and programming, and workshops.

Chris Spear:

Are they a national organization?

Unknown:

They are national? We have offices all over New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Arizona, and LA.

Chris Spear:

Wow, what a great thing. You know, I was just talking about this last night with my wife, you know, the whole idea, like when I was growing up, you, you know, you were kind of pushed to go to like regular school like a traditional college. But like I wanted to be a chef, I don't know why I didn't go to votec like, I wish I had started at a younger age. And I think now you're seeing more people, you know, they're they're realizing at a an age before college that may be their path isn't going to like an Ivy League school or even a regular college for like psychology or whatever business that they're going to be a shaft for a mechanic or whatever. And I think having those programs to really help them start that path at a younger age are fantastic.

Unknown:

Absolutely. And we're just inspiring them and giving them the tools and mentorship to help make their dreams happen.

Chris Spear:

Well, that's great. I love that, that you're helping out with that.

Unknown:

Yeah, it really makes you know, my heart sing. And it's why I got into cooking in the first place is because I really like to work with my hands. And I like to make people smile.

Chris Spear:

Now you had mentioned that you're looking at a brick and mortar. So what are you hoping to start? Can you share a little bit of the details

Unknown:

there? Well, the plans are very much changing. Now that we're kind of in the landscape. Will I open a brick and mortar so I'm not sure I have a lot of ideas going through my head. I'm, like I said I'm gonna try to start with the virtual component first and then kind of reverse engineer my idea and hopefully down the line open the brick and mortar but we'll see. So I can't share any details about that yet. But I'm working on things with some of my gluten free products, trying to build that into a business and trying to just build the teaching thing. Little more.

Chris Spear:

So you're looking to stay in the Philadelphia area for the foreseeable future.

Unknown:

You know, I don't really know. I love Philadelphia, but being quarantined in my row home was it was very nice, because I do have some outdoor space. I have a little roof deck and a little patio and I really took on some urban gardening. But it's also made me realize that I kind of want to be by the water. And, hmm, Philadelphia isn't quite the body of water, then.

Chris Spear:

You go down to Columbus Avenue there, there's a lovely body of water,

Unknown:

right? Yes, I mean, one that I can jump off a document go swimming in?

Chris Spear:

Yeah, well, I mean, you could maybe do that. But I wouldn't risk that.

Unknown:

Yeah. So I'm not sure. And that's why I'm also, I'm gonna take this day by day, we still don't know what our landscape is going to look like. And I'm going to continue building what I'm doing, and find out where I want to be when the time comes.

Chris Spear:

Yeah, it's really great that you didn't commit to that I have a lot of friends who open things like right before this, or we're in the process, you know, once you've committed to a lease and started a build out and then you know, this hits and now you're stuck with a place you can't even open and it's changing day to day now looking at them kind of limiting restrictions. Like what's the what's the indoor dining scene in Philadelphia right now? I follow Philly a little bit, but I'm not sure where you guys out with the numbers with that.

Unknown:

So we just reduced it. I don't know if they actually closed indoor dining again. I've been down in Maryland with my dad now for about a month. But I know they changed it and outdoor dining is limited to four people. They're supposed to be from the same household. Which I don't know how. Exactly, but so I feel like indoor dining may have I'm pretty sure they shut down indoor dining as of right now.

Chris Spear:

Hmm, wow. Yeah, I guess just commit go all into that in home, whatever you're gonna make happen happen the virtual thing?

Unknown:

Yeah. So gotta you know, try to make it work for right now. And then we'll see. We'll see how it grows.

Chris Spear:

So what are some of your favorite tools? I always like to ask this, like, whether it be physical kitchen tools or cookbooks or websites, what are some things you really love, especially things that maybe people don't even know about? And I know this is broad. So it could be to become a pastry chef or it could be for, you know, video production or something? What are some things you love?

Unknown:

All right, my favorite tools. I'll say the number one thing is your hands. I love to work with my hands. Obviously right now in restaurants, you'll need to be wearing a lot of gloves and taking precautions. But you know, if you're at home, just cooking for yourself. really take the time to feel what you're doing. Like that's how you're going to learn and how you're going to know how everything should be done consistently. If you know, you know how your dough feels. Other tools. I do love my VitaMix. I use it all the time. I love mine.

Chris Spear:

I'm so worried mine starts I don't know if it's stripped or something. But the other day I put something in and I turned it up and it sounds like it's just spinning. I'm like, Ah, it sounds like it's starting to get stripped there. I don't know what I'm gonna do, but I can't blow up my VitaMix right now.

Unknown:

Oh, no, that's so sad. KitchenAid obviously, I have a couple of kitchen aids even at home, I use them all the time. For video tools, I purchased a couple new microphones, whether it's for my phone or for my computer, that definitely helps sound quality and ring light because I don't have the best lighting in my row home. I only have windows on the back side and the front side. So everything from the middle is pretty dark.

Chris Spear:

So you position yourself to be a tick tock superstar. That right? I'm hearing you've got your ring light your new mics you're good to go.

Unknown:

If only I had the patience to understand tic tac,

Chris Spear:

I've done a little it gets frustrating. And then you spend the time to make a video that you think is going to be good. And you're like, oh it has 25 views after three weeks. Like I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I guess I'm just supposed to sing and dance on here.

Unknown:

It does feel like everybody is just singing and dancing and do but doing the same exact video like song and dance.

Chris Spear:

So all you have to do is imitate other people. So I guess that should translate with food right? Like you just watch what the successful people are doing actually went down the rabbit hole of what I call steak tech talk like everyone was making all these videos on steak, I can't stand half of their advice. I'm like, Who are these people? I don't even know what they're doing. And I made a video and I got 6000 views in like three days. I'm like, Well clearly I should just make videos about steak. I don't even like steak that much. But I was like, oh well maybe that's my crowd and just start building a steak tic Tock account. I don't know.

Unknown:

Oh my gosh. Yeah. I did I say stay true to you and be in your individual cells.

Chris Spear:

Social media is so weird, isn't it? You know, it's it is in fantastic. I mean, we talk a lot about the show. I mean, it's great for marketing, when you look at all the things I mean, my my personal chef business alone, the fact that I was able to grow it, you know, through early Twitter, and then now you know, through Facebook and Instagram, it's amazing, because I don't know that I would have been able to build the business that I did with without it, you know, just word of mouth on the local scene, I don't think would have done it.

Unknown:

Oh, absolutely. I realized the value and importance of social media sometimes. So I just want to shut it off and disappear.

Chris Spear:

Well, it is exhausting. And you know, everyone saying like, you got to be there every day, you've got to post every day. It's like, I run to things because I've perfect little bites. But then I've Chefs Without Restaurants, I'm trying to like post on both accounts and engage on both accounts and make content for both. And yeah, that's exhausting. It's like, I need a virtual assistant for that. Like, this is a like a full time thing. Just like re sharing people's stuff on our Instagram takes a lot of time.

Unknown:

It really does. And you can get sucked into that work.

Chris Spear:

Oh, yeah, you totally get sucked into that, you know, I'll go on to Instagram to post something. And you're like, you're just looking at people stuff. And you're like, Oh, I spent half an hour that I didn't really have.

Unknown:

Mm hmm. Exactly.

Chris Spear:

So who do you think is a underrated person in the food industry that everyone should know about? Who would you like to call out because we always say like, shout out someone who's a one of your favorites.

Unknown:

That's a good question. No, actually one of my good friends, Shelley Barbera. She was recently at the little bread pedal. Little Red peddler in London. She own co owned Mazar D bakery in New York City, prior to moving to London. And I feel like she doesn't have the recognition that she should. She's amazing. She does such quality work. I worked with her at Liberty den, as well. And she used to be the pastry chef at out day as well. But I just feel like she's always under the radar and doing amazing things.

Chris Spear:

Hmm, well, that's great. Yeah. And again, that goes back to like social media. I'm always amazed when you see people who you think are like, there's people I love and admire and are really well known. And then they have like 200 followers on Instagram. You're like, why everyone should be following this person. Everyone should know about them and the amazing things they're doing and maybe they're not spending a lot of time on it, but I still think everyone should know about them. Like there's some 14 year old who has like a omlet Instagram page or something with 2 million followers. But like you don't know this, like Michelin starred chef, it's

Unknown:

crazy. It is crazy how that works.

Chris Spear:

Do you have any advice for people who are looking to start their own business? Whether it be a food business or something like? What are some of your the low hanging fruit, the easy stuff are things that you wish you knew?

Unknown:

I feel like I don't know anything. You're just making it a

Chris Spear:

lesson we all do. For sure, myself included.

Unknown:

But I would suggest you use your network and your resources. Because once I started talking about it, like so many of my friends came to me like, Oh, I can help you with this. I can help you with this. And it's amazing that everybody actually really wants to help. And yeah, and also to maybe look outside of your comfort zone, I decided to take a couple of courses on entrepreneurship this past year just to help me figure out, you know, steps that I don't know, and even just to stay inspired and have that kind of other mentorship. That would be my suggestion.

Chris Spear:

Well, we talked about that a lot. Because that's that's one of the reasons I started the whole Chefs Without Restaurants thing because you know, I went to school for Culinary Arts like that. You have like one business class and a couple things like that. But then you go and start a business. It's like, I don't know anything about marketing. I don't know anything about accounting. I don't know anything about anything that's not cooking, right? Like I've only worked in kitchens, I started at 16. And then if you don't have the money to hire those people who have to figure it out on your own. So what do you do? And thankfully, there's so many resources on the internet, but so many people who have information to share so can we kind of get together and share all that stuff in you know, one or two places?

Unknown:

Yeah, absolutely.

Chris Spear:

I know it's kind of like picking a favorite child. But do you have a favorite dessert?

Unknown:

favorite dessert? Usually ice cream. I love ice cream, particularly peanut butter ice cream stuffed with Reese's peanut butter. So is that a peanut butter bass. Peanut Butter bass? Yes.

Chris Spear:

That sounds delicious. You don't see a lot of peanut butter basis often you see a lot of the chocolate ice cream with like the peanut butter ripple but you don't often see a peanut butter base.

Unknown:

Give me the peanut butter base with I don't know the Reese's peanut butter cups or maybe a very small chocolate ripple in there. That's what I want.

Chris Spear:

Oh, so you like the reverse you like that peanut butter ice cream with a chocolate ripple. I'll have to add those. I've never seen one of those at all. I'll have to search out one of those I guess make it my own. I love making ice cream.

Unknown:

Sorry, we can make it virtually together. Some time,

Chris Spear:

virtually Yeah, I'd love that ice cream is delicious. It's one of those things I find that people always want to have, like I have all these desserts that I make on my dessert menu. And then people are like, we just really like ice cream. What can you do? It's like, I wasn't planning on making ice cream for like four people, but I guess I'll get some ice cream going.

Unknown:

Everybody loves ice cream.

Chris Spear:

Is there anything else you want to share with the audience or anything people should know or anything you want to get into?

Unknown:

You know, I think right now, it's just important to keep your positivity and take it day by day. I know I have a habit of looking too far into the future at the big picture. And not necessarily being able to break down the baby steps easily enough, or slow enough to take the baby steps because I just want to get to the end. And right now, especially during this past, what nine months, I've really learned the value. And in doing that, because I don't know what the end picture is going to be either. So I'm just gonna take it day by day and do the baby steps and see where it lands me.

Chris Spear:

How do you stay positive? Do you have any like dedicated positivity or gratefulness, practices? or anything? Or is it just kind of Have you always been that way?

Unknown:

Yeah, I believe that I've always been a positive person, there definitely was a slightly darker time in my life after my mom passed, and I couldn't really see the positive and many things. But she was such a ray of sunshine. And even at her funeral, she asked people not to wear black, she wanted colors. So I wore a bright orange dress. But she was kind of my inspiration. And one day I just I woke up and realized, you know, mom would not want this for me. So I'm gonna do what I can to turn it around. And ever since then, it's really been more of a conscious effort. So every morning, I do like to wake up and a journal a little bit about what I'm grateful for and kind of just helps mentally guide my day.

Chris Spear:

Mm hmm. No, I'm a big believer in and that's something I do. And I've worked with it with my kids I love Have you heard of the Five Minute Journal? Do you know the Five Minute Journal? No, I don't. It's like a great, it's a gratefulness. And it's like, what are three things you're grateful for? What are three things you're looking forward to and what are some positive affirmations. And it's an app on your phone. But you can also get as a book, but they also make one for kids. That's really even more kind of whimsical and stuff like that. And it has great inspirational quotes geared towards kids. So I do mine on my phone. And then at the end of the day, it's like, what are three things that went really well today, anything you would have done differently, and just kind of it lets you reflect to the beginning and the end of the day kind of on? You know, what you're thinking about what you're grateful for, and looking back on what worked and just kind of bookending your day on the positive note, and it's something I've done for a number of years. And I find it really helps you keep things in perspective.

Unknown:

Oh, I have to look that up. I really like that. Well, thanks so much for coming on the show. I

Chris Spear:

really appreciate you taking the time. It was great to catch up with you.

Unknown:

Thanks for having me, Chris. I really enjoyed speaking with you.

Chris Spear:

And we'll Um, I'll put all your info in the show notes. Hopefully you'll be doing some cooking classes, we can get someone in there and and I would love to, to come take one of your virtual classes sometime.

Unknown:

Awesome. Yes, you can find me on Instagram email website, and happily will book something. We'll put it all in there. Awesome. Thank you so much.

Monica Glass:

You're welcome.

Chris Spear:

Thanks so much for listening. This has been Chris Spear and the Chefs Without Restaurants podcast. As always, you can find us at ChefsWithoutRestaurants.com and .org, and on all social media platforms. Thanks so much and have a great week.