Here we have our Executive Pastry Chef Angela Salvatore. This isn't her first introduction, but this is the most personal. And here she is....
Below we have a range of Angela's creations, from custom cakes to a bittersweet chocolate Marquise, Chef Angela covers all of the bases. Her desserts are rich in flavor, without being too sweet or too much of anything, her combinations leave your palette wanting more.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I grew up in Arlington Heights, Illinois - a suburb of Chicago and went to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign where I studied Broadcast Journalism
Q: How did you get into restaurants? What was the attraction?
A: Once I decided to change careers and walk down the culinary path, I started in bakeries. I went to the Culinary Institute of America with the intention of making wedding cakes. I did those for a while and found out there are so many more facets of pastry. I had an entrée into restaurants through the Moss & Stone group, run by Loretta Keller and Charles Phan. They teamed up for the re-opening of the Academy of Sciences, so there was a large bakery/cafe component along with the Moss Room’s restaurant component. I learned a lot working with Loretta at the Moss Room while continuing to hone my bakery skills for the Academy Cafe. The great thing is that at Waterbar, I still have plenty of opportunities to make wedding and specialty cakes, along with bread, chocolates, candy, and desserts!
Q: How long have you been at Waterbar?
A: March 1st marked my 3rd year! I’m actually quite green compared to many of the other chefs here. I liken restaurant years to dog years, because it’s a very transient industry, so it really reads like 21 years. The guys who have been here since day one have really been here for 49 years.
Q: What’s been your greatest challenge as a chef?
A: The creativity and guest relations come easily, that’s the fun stuff and the stuff on display. It’s the things behind the scenes that people don’t see on tv that are challenging, such as making and achieving budgets, managing staff, or the times when equipment fails. You definitely learn to think on your feet, because there’s never a dull moment.
Q: What’s your best memory in the kitchen?
A: Some of my best memories are seeing the teamwork amongst staff. It becomes a family where people may fight, but we also make up and become stronger and tighter. We have each other’s backs when times get tough and are the first to have a good laugh together too.
Q: What are you up to lately, what’s on your agenda?
A: The latest is getting ready for summer. We just got our first shipment of strawberries which were fantastic. The weather has been so weird that it’s kind of a game of roulette in terms of never knowing what you’ll get exactly when. But I look forward to stone fruit. Cherries and nectarines are my favorite. The irony being that they are my most favorite when unadulterated. So, I try and figure out ways of incorporating them into desserts without doing much, if anything to them.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: Long term? Maybe own a small business one day. Short term? Get through Mother's Day. Medium term (not really a term haha)? I’m already planning this year’s gingerbread house. It’s the 100th anniversary of the Panama Pacific World’s Exposition and I want to recreate the Palace of fine arts in sugar. Or the Ferry building….or city hall… They are all so beautiful, I can’t decide!