A ‘Cef d By K. Ricard
h There is something about the
way that food stimulates every sense in your body: the aroma tingling at your nose, the sound of meat as
it sizzles, the sight of
plates filled to the brim, the touch of ribs at your tips, and the gratifying taste as it soothes your soul. There are not many things that can compare to the satisfying experience of great food. It is even more of a treat to be in the company of
the individuals that
make your feast possible. Never Doubt Anything had the chance to talk to an extraordinary chef with a small
surely keep you asking for more. Adrian Baxter is an ambitious
town flavor that will
culinary artist that is guided by her passion to leave a piece of her spirit in every bite of her food. Growing up in the small urban town
of Mobile), Baxter
Prichard, AL (near found her
inspiration in the Culinary Arts world
from watching cooking
show favorites such as Cooking Live with Sara Moulton. “It was amazing to me to see this small feeble woman so dominant and able in the kitchen. The way she would handle those huge pans and large knives, it was empowering,” she
stated. Although Baxter
always knew that she had a knack for cooking, she decided to take a more
traditional route as a after
graduating from high school and enrolled in Auburn University at Montgomery
Justice major. After two years she found that the lack of excitement
in course work and the boring
promise of a future desk job just would not cut it for her. Driven by her passion, Baxter took a leap of faith and dove straight into the world of Culinary Arts. She was accepted into Mississippi University
Women in Columbus, MS and completed her degree in 2009 at their Culinary Arts
Institute with a
Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Degree in Culinary Arts. Baxter is currently working as a
chef de partie at the Sushi Martini in Starkville, MS. Often referred to as a “station chef,” a chef de partie is responsible for a particular area in the kitchen. Baxter has a skill for precision which has rewarded her with the position of Sushi Chef. This opportunity has provided her with cultural insight that influences every meal that she prepares. She explains, "It is rare to see a woman preparing sushi, even more
so an African American woman. A lot of people
e Pr iate ’
<<<Cl auin ry Crn w h Ar nBx ra te it dia
are apprehensive at first when they see me in the kitchen, but after they taste the food they quickly send compliments to the chef. This experience has been really different than in school. I have
learned many new
techniques and Hibachi cooking is exciting. Japanese style cuisine focuses primarily on technique and freshness of the ingredients which varies from the French style cooking that I was taught in
school." There are multiple avenues in
the Culinary Arts world that hold promising
futures for aspiring
chefs. Baxter looks forward to the day when she can open her own restaurant equipped with an organic garden and small town feeling where
“I everybody’s name,”
expresses. She strives to achieve the good old saying ‘practice makes perfect.’ It shows in every bit of her food. “Anytime you get the comment ‘This is the best I’ve ever had,’ it is a very satisfying feeling. I knew this was the path for me. The best advice I could give anyone is to not let your passions go. Let them guide you.”
o er w h su i co , Ar n Bxe it
Q: What is your favorite dish to eat? A: My mother’s Thanksgiving dinner. I love her roasted turkey and cornbread dressing.
Q: What is your favorite dish to prepare? A: Surprisingly, it would also be Thanksgiving dinner. I love the challenge of trying to perfect it like my mother’s cooking. I enjoy the complexity of preparing multiple dishes. It’s like a puzzle; you need each piece to come together to serve at the right time.
Q: What are three food items that you could not live without? A: Bacon, Garlic, and Onion. These ingredients are the base for so many delicious recipes. They bring incredible flavor to any dish. Bacon and garlic adds a smoky /salty taste, while onions bring savory like no other.
Q: What is one of the most valuable lessons that you have learned throughout your career as a chef? A: When you have multiple orders, just pace yourself and take advantage of the people around you. Always know what’s next, so you can adequately prepare for each dish according to its needs.
Q: What has been your worst experience in the kitchen? A: My first job at the Hilton Garden Inn as a short order cook. It was breakfast, and we were slammed with orders. I was platting some food, reached under the counter, and caught a huge splinter in my finger. I had to go straight to the hospital and received minor surgery to remove the wood. I was okay though because I returned right back to work and finished out my shift.
Q: What are three foods that you recommend everyone should try? A: Sushi at least once because it has delicate and rich flavors no matter which kind you try. I would say game meat such as Venison, boar, or lamb. The texture and taste of game meat is so unique. Also, try cooking with wine. Add some red wine to tomato sauce for a splendid flavor.
Mixed Berry Tea “r h efes in e;its te p fc et a e ed o og o a.
Ty t is r r h g ta ’ h eret tra t th n f a ln, ht dy”
By A. Baxter
Ingredients: 2 quarts water 2 family sized tea bags 2 cups sugar 1 cup frozen mixed berries*, thawed
Method: In a large pot bring the water to a boil. Add the tea bags and turn off the heat. As the tea steeps, blend the berries in a food processor until smooth. Strain the berry mixture to remove seeds and skins. Remove the tea bags from the pot and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the tea into a 2 quart pitcher and add the berry mixture, stir to combine. Chill the tea for 2 hours and serve over ice.
Yield: 8 servings * The berries used are a combination of
blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. 5 theUnexpected
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Q: What are some common mistakes that most average cooks make? A: Over/under seasoning foods; you should taste as you go and season accordingly. I would also say working with a dull knife. Most people are afraid of using a sharp knife in fear that they will cut themselves. However, it is easier to injure yourself with a dull knife as it often requires you to use more force to cut foods.
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