Interview with 2013 San Francisco Bay Area Rising Star Chef Jessica Largey

May 2013

Katherine Sacks: What is your most important kitchen rule?
Jessica Largey:
Take labels off of your container when you are down with them.

KS: How would you describe your style?
JL:
I really like to focus on simple food that is based upon actual cooking and only using modern technique when it’s most purposeful. I feel like a lot of chefs get into these phases where they like to do everything the modern way. Squab is the only meat I like to cook sous vide, because it’s the best technique for that piece of meat.

KS: Where do you get your inspiration?
JL: I think I'm very inspired by produce. I don’t really look through cookbooks for inspiration as much as I look through an herb book or a wild food book. I pulled all these dishes out of my brain just a few nights ago just by looking through an issue of National Geographic.

KS: What has been the most challenging you’ve done in your career?
JL: Currently it is trying to learn how to manage and inspire other people to push themselves as good cooks while keeping in mind to push myself. I want to keep learning and growing and cooking as much as I can even though I have these new responsibilities.

KS: And what are you most proud of?
JL: My commitment to stay and really invest in restaurants—my three years at Providence and now almost four years here [at Manresa]. Also having the decisiveness to leave when the time is right.

KS: What advice do you have for young cooks?
JL: Observe as much as you can while focusing on the task at hand, keep in mind that everybody has a role to play, and have respect overall for every aspect of the kitchen.