Chef Angela started it off for the Pastry team. With her confectionery genius, it's only right that her team be just as inspired.
Introducing Sous Chef Eric Jackson, our pastry's second in command, if you will. I posed to him the same questions I've been asking our crew, and this one, like the others lets you see another side of our great team.
Above we have Eric and his beloved Mother. To the right Chef Eric's Chèvre cheesecake, balsamic cherry compote and salted pistachios.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I like to say I'm not from any one place. I was born and raised in a military family and moved around when I was younger; I had the pleasure of traveling the country, experiencing all of the different climates and cultures. I ended up, however, spending my most impressionable years in the Midwest, around the Kansas City area. So lots of steakhouses, real meat and potatoes kind of country. I used to love driving around, taking in all of the farmland and all of the wide open space. The city is a great place too, but my heart yearns for quieter places from time to time.
Q: How did you get into restaurants? What was the attraction?
A: You know, I wish I had a better answer for this. There was never really an attraction, per se, to restaurants themselves. I was the kid always trying to help his mom bake cookies or cakes, and I was always the first to want to cut into the warm pie right out of the oven. Baking has a place in my heart and soul, and always will. My mother bakes a lot as I was growing up, and she still does. I never thought about the fact, as a child, most of the goods I was eating came out of a box, nor did I care when I found out. It was always the sensation of having a cake, warm pie or cookies on the counter when I came home from school or on the weekends. I didn't care that I was eating the same cookies all the time. It was that something special had been done for me and made with the most love. That's why I do this. I get to take that feeling of love, and give it to someones else. Food brings people together, and I get to be a driving force behind that. It's a great feeling.
Q: How long have you been at Waterbar?
A: Two years.
Q: What's your best memory in the kitchen?
A: This is a fun one. It was years ago, back in one of my first positions as a savory line cook, before I was solely focused on pastry. We had just worked a crazy busy Saturday, over 600 reservations both lunch and dinner, and most of us working doubles. I remember sitting at the bar after with my Sous chef at the time and now good friend. Our hands were shaking holding onto our glasses talking about how we didn't know if we could ever do that again. Sure enough, the next morning we were in the kitchen doing it again, and we had a blast doing it. I think we all have bad days, but I still think that's one of my favorite memories.
Q: What's next on your agenda? The future?
A: Honestly, I'm kinda letting the wind take me where it does. I'm young, ambitious and want to learn more. I have no desire to become famous through what I do here- I simply want to make good food and good memories. I have some projects I'm working on, but at the end of the day it's all about food and people. As far as the future, it's ever changing. One day I want to open a coffee shop, then it's a donut shop, and the next I want to stay in restaurants. I only know, right now, food and cooking will forever be a part of my life. My family will be well fed, whatever I decide to do, HA!