Two of the most inspiring women we know are Nicole Plue, our Director of Pastry Arts and Catherine Pantsios, our Director of Culinary Arts. Inspired by Food & Wine’s #foodwinewomen series, we asked them who they take their inspiration from, and it’s no surprise many of them are women as well. It prompts us to ask, in turn, “Who inspires you?” Let us know by tweeting your response with #cookswhoinspire.
Here are 5 Cooks Who Inspire Nicole Plue, Director of Pastry Arts at SFCS:
1. MFK FISHER, Food Writer
I majored in English Lit in college and have always loved words and writing. On the very first day of culinary school, in the first moments of class, the Chef passed out a reading list full of food writers. (I found out later she was an English major as well and we even graduated from the same college.) That reading list gave me a little moment of confidence that I was on a good path. MFK Fisher’s The Gastronomical Me was on the list. I bought an old copy at a used book store and fell in love. The chapter titled “A Thing Shared” is about her, as a child, eating a peach pie on the side of a road with her sister and father and what an impression the experience made on all three of them. First, it’s beautiful writing, but it’s also an inspiration to me as a chef that sometimes the simplest things have the most impact and that sharing food can be a powerful experience. When people tell me how my desserts have made a lasting impression on them or created a happy memory, I think of that story and know what an honor it is to be part of that experience. I now hand out a reading list on the first day of class with MFK Fisher (and George Orwell) on it and I’m still looking for a peach pie that tastes that good.