June 2021 Chef of the Month – Mollie Guerra

We’re welcoming the sunny month of June with our talented June 2021 Chef of the Month, Mollie Guerra! Chef Mollie is a South Texas native, originally from Corpus Christi and now resides in Dallas. She’s a personal chef out of Dallas and has her own meal prep business that services the Dallas-Fort Worth area! Recently, she’s been able to expand and now offers corporate & event catering and will also run a seasonal pop-up in DFW called La Chefita! Chef Mollie has always loved cooking and she remembers watching cooking shows on Saturday morning with her mom. She then participated in a Culinary Arts program while in high school, and that is when she truly developed her passion for her craft. Chef Mollie is hardworking and gives it all she’s got every day. She believes that if you’re truly passionate about something, you should give it your all and never look back.
Stay tuned for some incredible recipes & shop her look!

1. Where were you born? 

I’m originally from Corpus Christi, definitely a South Texas native and a beach bum! But I’ve lived in Dallas for almost 20 years, so this is definitely my home now, at least until the next adventure takes me somewhere else!

2. Where do you work and where are you based? 

I’ve been a Personal Chef out of Dallas for the past few years, but last year I started my own meal prep business servicing the DFW area. Since then, I’ve gratefully been able to expand and grow the business and we now also offer Corporate & Event Catering, run a seasonal Pop-Up restaurant out on Lake Texoma, along with my favorite – private Chef’s Tables and dinners.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?

As it is for most Chefs, my knives are my babies. Your knife cuts are the basis for almost all dishes, so it’s imperative to have one that is sharp, versatile, and comfortable for you. Not everyone has the same style preference so it’s important to try different blades and see what’s best for you. As they say, using the right tools for the right job makes all the difference. 

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?

This is a tough one to answer, because it’s hard to say just one. Cooking is one of the few things that invokes all five of the senses, but they all need to work together – you can hear the sizzle in your pan and know your oil is hot enough; you smell the aromas of herbs and spices that you’ve incorporated into the dish, or can smell a dish burning sometimes before you see it; you can tell what a dough needs just by feeling the texture, even without tasting it. No singular sense should outshine the others, because they all work together in such a beautiful harmony.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Whatever it is you think you can’t do, do it anyway. Try it, go for it. Take that leap of faith. If you don’t know how to do something, learn. Ask questions, watch videos, read recipes. Never lose that hunger or drive for knowledge. Every day I learn something new, and it’s what helps push me forward. Sometimes I have moments, especially after those 14 hour days that go back to back to back, where I want to quit or give up and I just have to remind myself, I get to wake up every morning and do what I love. Not many people get that chance, so if this is something you’re truly passionate about, give it your all and never look back.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?

Aside from your basic knife cuts, one of the most important things is learning how to season your dishes properly and balance flavors. This is a hard one, because something you might think is too salty might be just right for someone else. The same goes for acidity and sweetness, but it’s all about balance. Knowing when a dish isn’t right and being able to accept that and know what can be added/changed to make the dish the best version of what it can be.

7. What does good food mean to you?

When I take a bite of something and start doing the little wiggle dance, you know it’s good. But it isn’t always just about the taste; sometimes you can really see the intent and thought process behind a dish, the technique and skill. There’s nothing against simple, classic dishes, but I’m all about layers and bright flavors that make you question. Good food evokes emotion, joy and passion, which are the same feelings that I put into my dishes when creating them.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit? 

Aside from comfort, efficiency and pockets, I love when my coats are as bright and exciting as my dishes are. I love Chef Uniforms because they offer a wide variety of colors and styles, which helps me feel like I’m still able to bring a little of my personality and style in the kitchen.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

If you can’t tell by now, I have a hard time just choosing one thing, haha. It changes by the season, by the day. My favorite ingredients are ones that I haven’t worked with, because those are the ones that challenge me the most. By stepping out of my comfort zone it helps inspire me to develop new recipes and try new things. I love learning, and there’s no better way than trying something new.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

One of my favorite cities to dine in is definitely San Francisco. You can be at an intersection and have a Scandinavian restaurant on one corner, and then Persian, Peruvian, and Malaysian restaurants on the others. It’s the epitome of fusion dining and cuisine and allows you to experience new flavors and dishes from cultures that aren’t often times aren’t showcased enough. 

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

I hope I haven’t made it yet, haha! There are so many dishes that I’ve made that were my favorite for a little while, until I started playing with it more or recreating it or trying something new. While I can understand the benefit to having signature dishes, I don’t want to say one single thing is the best dish I’ve ever made, because I don’t want to cap myself at any point. Each time I make a dish I see if there’s a way to make it better than the last. I will definitely be the first one to admit if one of my recipes needs tweaking!

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? 

Right now, my favorites are always ramen and sushi. Those are two things that I haven’t spent as much time diving into learning how to make for myself, and I’m a sucker for a good bowl of Shoyu or Tonkotsu.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

I really wish I could cook for my grandparents again. They were always such huge supporters of my dreams. I wish I could show them what all I’ve learned, how much I’ve grown, and how much more I have still to come. But I know they’re still here in spirit supporting and motivating me, and I know they would be proud.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

I’ve always loved cooking. I can remember growing up and watching cooking shows on Saturday mornings with my Mom, trying to rush and scribble down the recipes before the commercial breaks. I was fortunate enough to participate in a Culinary Arts program while in High School, and that’s where I really developed my passion for cooking and wanting to know why dishes tasted the way they did; why was a dish made a particular way, and what would happen if we did it a different way instead?

Cooking fulfills my need for creativity and learning; it scratches every itch. There’s always a new ingredient, a new recipe to test out. It keeps me sane and is my breath of fresh air. There’s this feeling I get when I walk into an empty kitchen first thing in the morning; it’s this calming sense of tranquility before the beautiful, hectic push of the day. It brings a sense of order and uniformity that helps center the million ideas that are always spazzing around in my head. But most of all, it’s a way for me to share my passion and joy in the way I know best – through feeding others.

Connect with our June 2021 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @chefmollieg

Website: https://www.chefmolliegllc.com/

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