September 2019 Chef of the Month- Abyssinia Campbell

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We’re happy to introduce our September 2019 Chef of the Month- Abyssinia Campbell! Chef Abyssinia was born in New York, grew up in Florida and now works and resides in New York. She is the proud owner of Chef Abyssinia LLC , a Personal Chef & Catering company that provides services to New York, New Jersey, Hamptons and parts of Connecticut! As a child, Chef Abyssinia has always enjoyed cooking and she now views it as her own form of art. Read her story below!

 

1. Where were you born?
I was born in New Rochelle and partly raised in Mount Vernon, New York until I moved to Florida where I attended middle school, high school & college.

2. Where do you work and where are you based?
I am the owner of Chef Abyssinia LLC a Personal Chef & Catering company business based in New York. My team & I provide services to New York, New Jersey, Hamptons & parts of Connecticut. We also travel, most frequently to Florida. The services that we offer are catered events of all sizes, private dining experiences, meal prep & cooking classes!

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?
My favorite kitchen tool has got to be my taste buds, without them I wouldn’t be able to create these amazingly tasty dishes. Following my taste buds, I would say my hands, they do all the work.

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
I would say that my sharpest sense out of all five senses would be my taste, I can taste a dish and name most of the ingredients that it consists of.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?
My advice to aspiring chefs is to remain humble and don’t stop learning. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t give up because anything is possible.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
This is a tough question. One thing every chef should perfect is presentation- you want your dishes to look just as good as they taste.

7. What does good food mean to you?
Good food to me consists of quality ingredients & great flavor. It doesn’t matter how much it costs really, you can overpay for a crappy meal & underpay for a crappy meal, but when it’s good it’s good and that shows that value of the dish, not the $ signs in front of it.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit?
When selecting a chef outfit, I like to look sleek, professional & most importantly feel comfortable. Safety is also another factor, something that will protect me from a burn but will not make me burn up in a hot kitchen.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?
My favorite ingredient to work with are vegetables. You can do so much with them. From vegetables to herbs to fruit, all things that come from the earth. They add flavor, texture, color, aromatics, health benefits, you name it! That’s why you will always find them in my pantry. I had a client recently who hired me for a dinner party. One of the guests was an older gentleman. The first course was a full-on vegetable course. Everyone enjoyed it, the wife of the older gentleman came to me and said “Wow, that was good. My husband hates cauliflower, but he loved it!” One thing for sure, that’s an amazing feeling, but that goes to show how you can manipulate & master the fruit of the earth. I’m strongly considering becoming a vegan chef.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?
My favorite city to dine out in would have to be Manhattan, New York because there is a large diverse culture in the city. You can find a wide range of cuisines here in New York, no matter your budget, you will find a gem in the city if you look for it.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?
This is really hard to say because I am always making new dishes and I don’t always write them down, sometimes I just go with the flow of things and work with whatever ingredients I have on hand. As I am writing this, I am thinking of about 3 different dishes I made several months a part that I thought were extremely good. I’m going to go with one of the more recent dishes, Mediterranean roasted chicken with tri-color lentils & spiced butternut squash.

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off?
On my days off sometimes, I don’t even like to cook for myself, after being in the kitchen all week I don’t cook lavish meals for myself that often. I eat loads of fruits & vegetables. My favorite food is Caribbean food, I love Ackee & salt fish with sweet plantains & fried dumplings. I also love corn meal porridge for breakfast which is also Caribbean. I have a huge sweet tooth that I didn’t have growing up, now I crave pastries & fresh baked cookies all the time lol, it’s hard but I try to stay away from too many sweets.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?
I have been cooking since I was very young, I always liked it. I liked the idea of creating things in the kitchen. One of my favorite subjects in elementary school was art. I really enjoy being able to create & I feel like when I am cooking, that is when my creativity comes out. The plate is my canvas and with the ingredients I like to paint stories. In middle school & high school I was in a Culinary Arts program and that really paved the way for me and helped me to realize that I had a true passion in food & cooking. From there I went to Johnson & wales to study culinary arts & food service management, the rest is history!

Connect with our September Chef of the Month

Instagram: @chefabyssinia

Website: http://www.chefabyssinia.com/ 

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