January 2020 Chef of the Month- Whitney Watts

4We’re excited to welcome the year 2020, and to introduce our first 2020 Chef of the Month, Whitney Watts! Chef Whitney was born in Illinois, and now resides in the Chicago area. She is currently opening her own grab & go gourmet meal pickup and delivery service, and also works at a shared kitchen space on the North Side of Chicago. Chef Whitney is a vegan chef, who often uses creative ways to blend and prepare her dishes. She is a headstrong entrepreneur, and we couldn’t be more excited to start the year off with her story! Read it below and shop her look

1. Where were you born? 
I was born in Melrose Park, IL.  

2. Where do you work and where are you based? 
I am based in the Chicago, IL, Pilsen area. The address is 2150 S Canalport Ave. I am currently opening my own grab & go gourmet meal pick up and delivery service, but Iʼve been at a shared kitchen space on the North side. 

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?
My food processor runs my kitchen! Since I mostly make vegan food, it requires a lot of mixing/blending ingredients to give you all of the vegetable greatness and flavor profiles I look to create for people.  

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
My sharpest? Iʼd have to say my nose. I can smell everything all too well. People would assume itʼs taste because Iʼm a Chef, but I “taste” food in my head more than literally.  

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?
Keep going. Donʼt wait on anyone to help you. People will help you when they can take you seriously by how committed you show yourself to be. Create your own lane, because thereʼs more to the food industry than working in a restaurant. Weʼre in a trillion dollar industry that will never die, so thereʼs much room for you and your style of cooking, but itʼs important to also figure out how your talent can be an asset to the masses so youʼre not just another cook that can julienne a carrot and make chicken stock.  

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
Timing. If youʼre planning to be on time, you will surely be late. Organization is vital to being on time.  

7. What does good food mean to you?
Itʼs tasting it in my head. Good food is putting my phone down, and interacting with the people around me about the flavors in the dish weʼre eating because weʼre enjoying it that much. Good food is colorful, flavorful, balancing healthy and delicious, and worthy of an Instagram feature! 

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit?
My main goal is always my own comfort.  

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 
Mushrooms. Iʼm a big mushroom lover, so much that Iʼve mastered hiding it in food because theyʼre so healthy and everyone should eat them unless they canʼt. My mom for instance, swears she hates mushrooms, but sheʼs emptied every plate Iʼve given her that had mushrooms, as well as many others.  

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 
New York City has some of the best vegan food. Seasoned Vegan, located in Harlem, is one of my favorites.  

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 
My vegan Mac n Cheese stands alone and proud.  

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? 
I love Ethiopian food. Or nachos. I eat a lot of basil veggie fried rice with Tom Yum soup, also. I rarely stray away from those meals.  

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 
Miguel. Iʼm such a fan of him as a person, his music, his vibe. I will one day. 

14. What made you decide to become a chef?
I was an Accountant at a Real Estate company for nearly 5 years, and had been in the industry for 10. I just remember at one point sitting in my office and feeling like my 9-5 was an inconvenience, and that I could be cooking for someone, making them happy. Being in an office became stressful and I found myself going into a depression, but also noticing how cooking felt like therapy, because Iʼd just put on some jazz music and zone out, and when I was all done, I felt whole again.

Shop Our Chef Uniforms!

Connect with our January Chef of the Month
Instagram: @thisgirlsgrub
Get Chef Whitney’s Catering

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One Comment on “January 2020 Chef of the Month- Whitney Watts”

  1. Alexandra Pedro January 7, 2020 at 3:41 pm #

    happy new year i hope to get a follow back and also on instagram i cant keep my eyes off your posts im inspired

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