Sous Chef Series: Hillary Sterling’s Eggplant Parmesan

Chefs, Meet

“I grew up eating bagels and lox, Chinese food, and pastrami and tongue sandwiches, like a lot of New York City kids,” says Hillary Sterling, A Voce’s chef de cuisine. Raised in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, the third-generation New Yorker grew up in the same house in which her father spent his childhood, and explains that although she lived in the nexus of food, her diet was still fairly limited. “I didn’t even know what Taco Bell was until I went to college,” she admits.


Once she began cooking professionally, that all changed. Her first job post-culinary school was at an Irish pub called O’Murphy’s, where she made blood sausage and shepherd’s pie; a gig with Bobby Flay (at his restaurants Mesa Grill and Bola) followed, where she was exposed to Southwestern flavors. She then turned toward Italy, spending two years at Mario Batali’s Lupa, followed by a stint at the now-shuttered Bar Milano, before taking a sous chef position at A Voce.


She deploys her Italian cooking skills in the recipe for Eggplant Parmesan she shared with the latest edition of the Sous Chef Series. She uses Japanese eggplants, pan-frying the slices instead of breading and deep-frying them, then layering them with tomato sauce and mozzarella, topping the stack with crunchy breadcrumbs. Her version is lighter than most, and if you use premade tomato sauce, it comes together quickly.


Don’t miss next week’s Sous Chef Series email from Williams-Sonoma and Tasting TableSign up for free today, and every Monday you’ll receive a new profile of one of the country’s most exciting sous chefs, along with one of their favorite recipes.

One comment about “Sous Chef Series: Hillary Sterling’s Eggplant Parmesan

  1. paulo bandado

    Hilary Sterling is by far the most underrated chef in the City. She is a star whose humility is over shadowed by the ridiculous pompousness surrounding her. She is essentially cooking with one arm tied behind her back, in the smallest most inefficient cooking space in the modern world, with one of the most ridiculously arrogant, incompetent front of the houses that only Graydon Carter could consider acceptable.. “think Ron Burgundy”. Tony Bourdain and David Bourke wouldn’t make it as sous chefs for her. She is the bomb. Unfortunately her biggest she flaw is a terribly nice person. One quick note… mixology is a made up profession by guys who read Bartender Magazine on their long rides into Manhattan from the outer boroughs, who have had great difficulty getting laid in their adult lives, despite plying the masses with massive amounts of alcoholic concoctions, while trying to convince us that overgrown facial hair isn’t gross. Restaurant mangers… remember, you are restaurant managers, you have made some bad decisions to get where you are, don’t try to delude us or yourselves. Take a note from the movie business… the only talent is in front of the camera, and in restaurants, in the kitchen. That’s the way it is, get over it. And Hilary Sterling is the star of the moment, pray god she finds a vehicle that shows her true star quality.


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