We are honored to introduce Chef Jessica Gamble of KR Steakbar as the newest contributor to our Be the Chef Series! Chef Jessica was born & raised in the Atlanta area, and she is the first female & youngest chef de cuisine at any Rathbun Restaurant. Read on to learn more about her culinary style, as well as hear her advice on making it in the world of food.
How would you describe your cooking style?
I would describe my cooking style as simple and focused. I think its best to highlight the ingredients as much as possible and really let them shine through.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be doing?
I would probably be teaching. A lot of managing a kitchen is teaching your employees. I've always gotten a lot of joy in that.
If you could give our home chefs one piece of cooking advice, what would it be?
Don't be afraid to experiment with new flavors or ingredients. A lot of people get tired of cooking at home because they use the same ingredients over and over again. I would also highly suggest getting an amazing cookbook to get inspiration from. (Heritage, Momofuko, or the French Laundry)
What’s your favorite tool in the kitchen?
A spoon. It has so many uses.
What’s your favorite thing about Atlanta’s local food scene?
I love how diverse the culture around the food scene is. People are really embracing authentic food from other cultures and its amazing to me to not have to travel in order to experience these foods.
As the first female & youngest chef de cuisine at any Rathbun Restaurant (congratulations!), what advice would you give to young women who want to break into the restaurant world?
My advice to anyone would be to put your head down and work as hard as you possibly can. When I was a line cook I was always an hour early to every shift, came in on my off day if needed, and tried to go above and beyond. People recognized that and that's how I got to where I am.
What skills helped you stand apart from the crowd as you were working your way up?
I think my attitude was something that separated me. I was happy to get slammed with tickets, happy to have to prep a lot of food, happy to get to go into a workplace that I loved.
What is the best meal you’ve ever had?
A couple of years ago, I was in New York and eating at Gramercy Tavern. I did the 4 course goat tasting menu. I loved the fact that they were highlighting an underused ingredient. The service was also amazing, which contributes to a meal a lot more than people think.
Chef Jessica’s Mushroom Fettucine with sausage, kale, garlic confit, pecorino & rosemary is available to order through Tuesday, November 6th. The meal kit features KR Steakbar’s own handmade pasta & Riverview Farms’ spicy sausage, Global Growers' kale & Orchard Valley mushrooms.