Nina Christin Thiemann [ninachr]
When did you start cooking? Who got you started in this art?
I started when I was 16/17..I guess I can say that both of my grandmothers were the ones that got me started.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in food?
Because I realized that I was really good at it and that I really had a passion for it..You can do so much if you have the right ingredients.
Is there a website or blog where we can see something about you and your cooking?
No, not yet at least.
What culinary training have you received? Where have you learned more, in class or by experimenting?
I went through 4 years of culinary school...2 years in classes where I learned all from basic cooking to the buisness and marketing side of it...And I would have to say that when it comes to the physical side of cooking, it's not something you can read your way to, it's something you learn by trying and failing..In other words, you learn more by experimenting.
How and where did you get your first job as a professional cook?
Well, I just finished my education in January 2010 so I don't have a steady job yet..But I do fill in for the Head Chef where I spent my last two years as an apprentice.
How would you define your style?
I don't think that I really have a style yet, but I do like to experiment with new things alot..I might look up recipes on the internet and the I tweak them to find the right taste for me.
Do you select and buy the ingredients yourself? Where?
Yes, when the I the opportunity I do...But sometimes they are pre-ordered by others..Mostly I get them from regular stores, but if there's an open marked near by I get them from there..I do however try to stay local.
What is your favorite spice to cook with and why?
I'm not sure if I really have a favorite one, but I do like to use Garlicpepper or lemon pepper..You can bring out a lot of different flavors from the food if you use these correctly.
What is your signature dish or your favorite recipe?
Wow, making it hard for me now....But I guess that I would have to say lasagna, you can really do a lot with this one..You can mix it up and change it..You can make it for fish lovers, meat lovers or vegetarians.
What is your favorite cooking gadget?
Oh, I guess that would have to be my sharp and trusty cooking knife..It makes my job ten times easier.
Who have been the biggest inspirations in your career?
I would have to say my grandmother, my mother and Gordon Ramsay.
Do you have an funny kitchen incident to share with us?
Not really, but I did hear about a guy that was fooled into believing that if you dropped a peeled carrot into a pot of sauce that the sauce wouldn't burn in the bottom.
If you were stranded on a deserted island for one year, what dish would ask to eat after your rescue?
Hmmm..I guess I would ask for Mushroom Ravioli.
If any chef in the world could prepare a meal for you, who would it be?
That's easy, Gordon Ramsay.
Men versus women: do they cook differently?
Well, I don't really know..I guess it depends on the upbringing and whether or not they are educated chefs.
Is there something you hate to see when you go to a restaurant as a customer?
Oh yes..Dirty table cloths, plates, glasses etc.
Do you sometimes find yourself eating junk-food?
Of course I do...The trick is to not eat it to often.
Who cooks in your home?
That would be me.
Tell us about your favorite wines and other drinks to accompany food.
Well, I don't really like red wine and mostly I just have a glass of water while I eat..But, I do have one favorite brand of wine..German Riesling.
I did try one red wine that I liked though, but I can not for the love of me remember the name.All I know is that it was Shiraz from Australia and that it had a Koala on front of the bottle.
What tendencies do you see coming on strong?
Well, it's sad really..But I see more and more people indulging in junk food..Eating that every now and then is ok, but it's NOT something your supposed to eat on an almost daily basis..With that said however, I can see why that is..Healthy food is expensive and the world is mostly made up of middle- or lower class families.
What do you think about molecular gastronomy in terms of introducing chemical elements into dish preparation?
I don't really like it..In my opinion cooking is an art, and it should stay that way.
What new techniques are you interested in learning
Oh, difficult..Not really sure.
What are some of your professional goals for the future?
Open my own Restaurant or Catering Service.
What advice would you give to someone in high school who would like to pursue a culinary career?
Experiment and expand yourself, do NOT be afraid to try out new things.
What would you say to a novice in the kitchen to help them get over their fear of cooking?
If you don't get it the way you want it the first time, there is always the second time..Practise makes perfect.
Nina Christin Thiemann