When Cecilia Light, sous chef at Chicago’s Balsan restaurant, was 20 years old, she took a job working at a grill in her hometown of Bogalusa, Louisiana. “I was just a fry cook, a short-order cook,” she recalls. “But when I was cooking, it felt like being at recess.” She also deemed it superior to her previous job, working at the makeup counter at Walmart.
She decided to attend culinary school in Chicago, interned with Paul Prudhomme in Louisiana, then returned to the Windy City to work at North Pond restaurant, picking up skills along the way. For the latest edition of the Sous Chef Series, she shares some of these fundamentals in her recipe for chicken pot pie. Thickened with roux and topped with a cheddar biscuit crust, the recipe is one to master for winter.
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