Interview with 2013 San Francisco Bay Area Rising Star Chef Stephanie Prida

May 2013

Katherine Sacks: What made you interested in a career in pastry?
Stephanie Prida: I didn't grow up in family that was really into food. I wanted to be an artist since I was a kid, but then I felt art school was kind of too far fetched, maybe I wasn't going to be good enough for it. So I went to culinary school out of high school.

KS: How would you describe your style?
SP: Obviously, seasonal, I think every pastry chef is. What I like to do is take one product, which is usually a piece of produce, and I build on that. I like to describe it as American contemporary. I like fun playful things.

KS: What are your three rules to pastry success?
SP: Patience, almost anal retentiveness, and you need to have a fun personality. For me pastry brings people back to their childhood and you need to have a fun personality to do that. Pastry chefs are always the wired ones in the kitchen.

KS: Where do you get your inspiration?
SP: I get inspiration by a lot of things, nothing in particular. I get inspired by classic ingredients and art and produce.

KS: What has been the hardest thing you’ve done?
SP:  Sacrificing time with your family because you are working all the time, on holidays. I miss my family a lot.

KS: What are you most proud of?
SP: Being at Manresa. To be honest, I’m so happy, it’s such a unique environment. I've worked at a lot of kitchens. I think David Kinch strives for his cooks having a life, and that’s hard to find now a days.

KS: Where will we find you in 5 years?
SP: Hopefully I'm in Brittany, France running my own bed-and-breakfast.  I'd like to move to France in five years.