chef angie.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Chef Angie Roberts, left, loves to cook for special events.
Angie Roberts, the chef at Hotel 1000's BOKA , gives credit


Thanks Grandma! Chef Angie at BOKA Gives Props To Early Mentor

chef angie.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Chef Angie Roberts, left, loves to cook for special events.
Angie Roberts, the chef at Hotel 1000's BOKA, gives credit a whole lot of credit for her successful cooking career to her earliest kitchen influence, her grandmother. (No matter how many times we hear that one, it's still damn heart-warming, right?)

This accomplished young chef initially thought she wanted to work with pastries, but another cooking influence set her on a different path, which included a stint with Chris Keff at Flying Fish. She talks about her culinary journey in this week's Grillaxin Q&A.

SW: Do you remember the exact moment when you decided you had to be a chef?

Angie: I don't know if I remember the exact moment or not, but I would say that when I was about 19 or 20, working under a pastry chef who I thought was the "bee's knees." I told him I wanted to go to pastry school to become a pastry chef; he encouraged me to learn how to cook first. That's when I signed up for cooking school with the intention of going through pastry next. I fell in love with cooking and have not been back to pastry since.

SW: Where did you train/go to school?

Angie: I went to Seattle Central Community College's culinary program.

SW: Do you keep in touch with anybody from those days? Did they make it as big as you?

Angie: I see a couple of my classmates here and there. One of them is an instructor at Shoreline. One or two are line cooking. I'm pretty sure that the rest are out of the business.

SW: Can you talk about work at Flying Fish?

Angie: It was a great experience for me. It was a whole different ball game than what I was used to after spending six years at the W Hotel. I learned a ton working under Chris Keff. It was my first chef position and I took on more responsibility than I had ever had, which was a very humbling experience for me. It definitely kicked my you-know-what, but I'm really glad I did it.

SW: Who were some of your earliest influences?

Angie: My grandmother was and still is my biggest influence! She is the best cook I know. She cooked professionally for many years; I grew up hanging out in the kitchen with her. I have been fortunate enough to work under three James Beard award-winning chefs: Jonathan Sundstrom from Lark, Maria Hines from Tilth and, of course, Chris Keff. I've learned a lot and been inspired by each one on them.

SW: What's the one trick or technique you use every day?

Angie: That's a tough one, I would say balancing out flavors in foods using acids like lemon juice and vinegars, as well as sweetness using honey.

Check back for part two of this week's Grillaxin for more with chef Angie Roberts.

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