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Friday, August 7

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Interview Sat Jul 23 2011

The (Sweet &) Spicy Chef

211068_101836636576698_3391610_n.jpgWhile attending a "MasterChef" themed cooking class this morning at Le Cordon Bleu's Chicago Campus, participants were in for a treat as LCB alum, Suzy Singh was on hand to encourage us all to be fearless in the kitchen.

Singh greeted the class by explaining how her schooling at Le Cordon Bleu really encouraged her learning process as a chef. "My instructors here really encouraged me to think outside the box." With her background in neural engineering, flair for gastronomy and use of creative spice combinations, I don't think anyone can argue with that.

I was fortunate enough to talk to Singh a bit about her journey to becoming a "master" of the kitchen. "It's really about doing what you love. A lot of people just do what they think they're supposed to do." Singh started her career working in the field of Neurosurgery as a Neural Engineer. Throughout her six year career working in the OR from 6am to 6pm, Singh found that the time she didn't spend at work, she was spending in the kitchen. After attending an open house, she decided to pursue her passion and register for culinary classes. She'd go to work and then rush to change from her scrubs into a chef's coat for a night of cooking at Le Cordon Bleu. "It's a great discipline for anyone to learn."

Aside from discipline, it's clear that Singh's sweet personality is also what has propelled her into the spotlight. "Oh, I can talk about food all day!" And as we talked more about her coursework in the culinary arts, she told me about her chance encounter with the "MasterChef" production crew during a LCB gingerbread workshop she was taking. Walking her three-story (and I'm certain quite impressive) gingerbread house across the hallway, she ran into some of the producers who were a little turned around. As she directed them to the right room (all while skillfully balancing her edible abode), it was clear there was something about her that stuck. "You have a great personality, you should audition." they encouraged. So she did. And eight rounds of auditions later, Singh was on her way to LA for filming. "That's how it should be, let it happen naturally, organically."

Well, going with the flow of her culinary journey has certainly worked out for the best for her so far. Oh, and don't forget to watch this "natural" in front of the camera on "MasterChef" before time runs out -- the "MasterChef" finale is August 16th.

Can't get enough of the Spicy Chef? Here's where you can see her next: Monday (7/25) and Tuesday (7/26) of next week you can join her on the scenic rooftop of The Wit hotel for a "MasterChef" viewing party. Singh gave me a tip that the viewing party menu will feature a Madras Curry Flatbread Pizza. Are you salivating yet? A Chicago gal through and through, you can also catch Suzy as she throws out the ceremonial first pitch at the Cubs Game (vs. Cardinals) on August 21st. (Don't worry Sox fans, she threw a pitch on the South Side this month as well.)

Looking to bump up your culinary skills a notch, but not quite ready to commit to culinary school? Dip your toe in the water with the "MasterChef" cooking series offered twice a month at Le Cordon Bleu. You'll be cooking like a pro in no time.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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