Name: Stephanie Ibanez
Restaurant: Jar Dan Foods
Title: R&D Pastry Chef
My Breakfast: Shakshooka.
Most overused spice: Cumin.
Favorite Foodie Destination: East and Southeast Asia.
Favorite Kitchen Gadget: Rubber spatula.
Favorite Food Aroma: Vanilla.
Q: Why did you first get into cooking?
I developed my passion for baking thanks to my grandmother. She would make our birthday cakes on one condition: we would help her gather the ingredients, and measure and check through the oven window until the cake was ready. After moving away, I missed her baking so much that I would bake my own cakes, my sisters’ cakes, and eventually, my friends’ cakes.
Q: Describe your favorite dish.
Creamy, saucy, beef stroganoff with a lot of sliced mushrooms and fusilli noodles.
Q: Name three ingredients you can’t live without in the kitchen.
Eggs, sugar and salt.
Q: What is the most important part of a sandwich?
The right bread.
Q: What’s your favorite sauce of all time?
Tartar sauce on anything.
Q: How does your personality differ inside and outside the kitchen?
I have a lot of patience for recipes: for tweaking them until they come out perfectly, and for giving them the right baking time. I’m not a very patient person outside the kitchen.
Q: If you weren’t a chef, what would you like to be?
Probably a psychiatrist or a forensic scientist.
Q: If you could choose, what would your “last supper” be?
Beef Stroganoff with fusilli noodles and a blackberry vanilla ice cream Eton Mess.
Q: What do you think will be the biggest food trend of 2018?
Any type of food hybrid; cruffin, cronut, churro ice-cream sandwich, cinnamon roll pancake, sushi burrito…