Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the fifth annual Pie Social from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 15, at the "What Should Go Here" Pop Up Park at Second and Roosevelt streets. We've got an all-star lineup of bakers making pies for you to taste, and from now till Pie Social, we'll introduce them to you, one by one through a quick Pie.Q. quiz to test their baking prowess.
Today: Monique Rossignol of The Herb Box
Monique Rossignol and pie go way back.
Growing up, her mom would let Rossignol and her siblings eat whatever they wanted for breakfast on New Year's Day. Her choice?
Lemon meringue pie.
"The first time I made it, I had a hard time with the dough," Rossignol said. "I didn't have the right pie pan. My meringue started weeping."
With the help of her mom's lessons, culinary school and adaptation, she's proud of her growth.
"It's a lot better now," Rossignol said. "I can make a pretty boss lemon meringue pie."
She's been in the kitchen since she was little and knew her calling at a young age.
"I found this thing when I was moving out, a little drawing from like a Kindergarden of first grade project that said, 'When I grow up...' and I put baker," Rossignol said. "I had no idea that when I was six-years-old that I had any idea what I wanted to do. I honestly don't know what else I would do."
It's 15 minutes until Pie Social and you drop a pie. What do you do? Turn beet red and remember that I probably brought an extra because I'm usually pretty prepared or expect the worst. Or, cut smaller slices. I'd make it work.
What's the single most important tool in pie making? Hands --if they're too hot they'll melt the dough. Or, if it's more of a cookie crust it has to be molded into the pan. I've worked without a rolling pin. I just moved in with a friend and all my supplies are in a storage unit. I had to make a pie, and I looked for different cans and jars, covered them up, and made it work.
What's the most important ingredient in a pie crust? Butta' brings everybody together.
What's the secret to the perfect fruit filling consistency? Making sure your fruit isn't too wet. One of my friends made a pie and it was too soupy. She was using frozen peaches, so she needed to thaw and drain them first.
Hand pie, pie in a jar, or no mini pies EVER? Pies in a jar. I just never been a fan of things in a jar. A pie, you have the shell to protect it, you don't need to throw it in a jar.
What's on your pie-making playlist? It's usually Glee Pandora or Backstreet Boys Pandora until the boys come in and turn it off because they laugh at me. But, I like happy music. It gets me going. Most recently, Taylor Swift's Shake It Off.
What will be the next big pie trend? Maybe back to pie pops. I don't know if those had their time in the spotlight, but they're kind of fun. Like a mini pie on a stick. You can take it to go and it's a smaller portion.
You have to make 100 pies in 5 hours. Who are you gonna call for help? Definitely Amanda Ramirez, my assistant and I could bribe someone else in the kitchen. Anyone will do something for some cookies. Go team go! We all work well together if someone needs anything.
How do you spend your down time while your pies are in the oven? Baking other things. I don't really have down time in the kitchen. It's like a dance. You're constantly doing something.
In one word, what's your strategy for competing as a celebrity baker this year? Passion