The Clever Root

Winter / Spring 2016

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2 0 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t ■cr What is the biggest challenge of your career? The biggest challenge in my career has been getting people to understand that my high expectations and standards are for their own good . . . I like to push people to exceed their own potential, whether they know it or not. If you could have one chef superpower, what would it be? If I could have one chef superpower it would be to have un- limited energy and never get tired or grumpy no matter how many hours have been worked. What's the greatest lengths you have traveled to pro- duce a dish or find an ingredient? Hmm . . . I am more of a local gal. I like to walk to my garden to get what's for dinner! When was the moment you knew you wanted to become a chef? I knew I wanted to become a chef after I walked into Johnson & Wales University in 1998. After five years of an unsuccessful college career and really not getting anywhere, I realized how good I felt being in this environ- ment. I never looked at it as work. What's your favorite dish to cook at the moment? Honestly, I love comfort food, so one of my favorite things to eat is yellow stone-ground grits with smoke herring or pasta with smoked sausage. What has been the most rewarding moment of your career thus far? Being the person behind the culi- nary movement in Haiti, and putting together the Haiti Food & Spirits Festival. I have also been able to travel all over in promoting Haitian Gastronomy. How would you describe your cook- ing philosophy in five words or less? Simple, bold flavors. Homey, earthy, with lots of love. Chef Mareya Ibrahim Founder/Chef of Eat Cleaner, Laguna Beach, CA If you are a culinary professional inter- ested in being featured here or want more information on Chef's Roll, please email Chef Stephan Berrouet-Durand Chef/Owner at Chef Stephan in New York, NY | t h e c l e v e r r o o t Elena M. Clement, CEPC, AAC Owner of The Guiding Knife, Washington, D.C. How would you describe your cooking philosophy in five words or less? Clean, plant-forward, nutrient-dense and FIT (flavorful, intentional, time- efficient). What has been the most rewarding moment of your career thus far? Getting the patent for my organic Eat Cleaner line. I know that our food safety and shelf life extension products can be a game-changer for people's health and wellbeing, and getting the patent was like getting my "license" to do it in a big way. What's your favorite guilty plea- sure food? Black truffles—hands down, the sexiest, most aromatic and wondrous food on the planet, and it comes from the ground. It's like putting a crown on any dish and elevating it to an otherworldly level. I literally go crazy for them; my endorphins start firing and I feel like I want to go climb a mountain or skydiving or something. We've partnered with Chef's Roll, the global chef and culinary professional network, to learn more about chefs from around the country.

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