Yesterday, we heard from Chef Becky Windels at The Herb Box. Today, the conversation continues...
Windels is as much a savvy businesswoman as she is a chef. "We run our business like a business," she says. "We have lot of amazing people, and we keep them on task." Thanks to that attitude, Windels and her business partner were able to open up two new branches of The Herb Box within weeks of each other -- one at Scottsdale's SouthBridge and the other in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
Now that the Herb Box has a northern outpost, is there any chance you'll be ditching Arizona's sunny skies for Minnesota? Minnesota isn't even on the radar. I love northern California and I hope that there's a cozy little spot for me up there someday. I would love to open up a new restaurant there.
Sweet dreams: I'd love to do a vegetarian restaurant, but offer bacon. Because you can't get away from your bacon.
As a chef, how do you feel about special diet requests? I like to accommodate. We do a lot of gluten-free. For breakfast, I want to create a gluten-free pancake. I do a cinnamon buckwheat pancake and I'm sure if I just change the flour it would be killer.
Have you ever had a bizarre request? Some are ludicrous. Like a lot of people have tried to get us to use certain oils. Everybody has their own opinion on oils. This one lady did research and sent me a list of oils she could eat.
What oil do you use? We use a rice bran oil, which has health benefits to it. It's tough to cook with -- your vinaigrettes have to be out of the refrigerator because it gets glutinous. But I have to have that oil. It's good for you.
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Most essential kitchen tool:My Cuisinart. I like to make hummus. Oh, and my wine opener!
The best thing I ever ate was: an antipasto salad thing from Flour + Water [in San Francisco]. I don't have a sweet tooth, so it's all veggies.
Do you have any New Year's Resolutions for 2011? I don't. I feel like I've made some great accomplishments, so I really don't want to push myself into doing anything else right now. I just want to maybe vacation more, or get to where I can take off a few days a month.
(This was part two of our interview with Becky Windels of The Herb Box. Check out part one and stay tuned for one of Chef Becky's recipes tomorrow... )