Chef Mimi Maumus first started home.made out of her home in Athens in 2006, then moved the restaurant to its current location on Baxter Street in 2012. Chef Mimi was born and raised in New Orleans, and we are thrilled to note that you can taste it in her dishes! We asked Chef Mimi a few questions about herself and home.made, so keep reading to learn more. Her Shrimp Creole over creamy grits with andouille sausage & arugula is on the menu through March 25th. Don't miss it!
Why did you become a chef? Is it something you always wanted to do?
I have always enjoyed cooking but didn't consider it as a profession until I was in college. Once I realized that it was the work that I wanted to pursue, I became very serious about learning as much as I could about cooking - studying classic dishes, ingredients and techniques. I have always learned best hands on, so I enjoyed experimenting whenever possible and also chose to work in kitchens that valued from scratch cooking with an emphasis on quality ingredients and proper technique.
How would you best describe your cooking style?
Creative, with a focus on New Orleans and Southern American cuisine.
What’s your favorite tool in the kitchen? Favorite ingredient to use?
My favorite tool is definitely my chef's knife but I also love "Y" shaped peelers - they were a game changer for me.
My favorite ingredients are bay leaves and celery. I love bay so much that I planted a tree in my backyard over a decade ago. It's taller than my house now!
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be doing?
I have always enjoyed recording music, so I'd probably be a musician.
What’s your favorite thing about being in Athens?
Athens is a small town that has a very solid sense of community. There are many creative small businesses, great art, music and food.
What’s your best piece of advice for at-home cooks?
Follow recipes before you start experimenting. Learn the proper way to execute a dish and then thoughtfully make decisions about how to make it your own.