My name is Karen Neal and I am the Pastry Chef at Chestnut
How long have you worked for Chestnut?
What is your favorite dish at Chestnut? Creole Seared Swordfish.
I’m a sucker for those collard greens!
If you could travel anywhere in the world were would it be?
Australia. If I’m going anywhere, it might as well be far.
What life lessons has working in the service industry taught you?
It taught me that we have the power to create meaningful experiences for others…the power lies in making others feel heard.
What has your most memorable experienced with a guest been?
I work independently in a basement, but I do treasure this comment card from 9 year who signed it with, “your biggest fan”. It is pretty cool for my dessert to capture the heart of a kid!
A story about a favorite regular…
My job keeps me separate from the guests, but Executive Chef Crow regularly sneaks chocolate mousse tortes out the pastry cooler!
If the President was coming in (past or present) and you could cook them one thing, what would it be?
I would make future president Neil DeGrasse a flourless chocolate cake with red wine caramel, pickled raisins, and a pistachio tuile .
Someone you would love to cook for? What would you cook them?
I would make desserts for my late granny. It would be all the old fashioned treats that she passed down to my mother and then to me such as blackberry dumplings, prune cake, and yellow cake with chocolate pan sauce. The main trick would be to get her out of the kitchen and to somehow have her sit for a few minutes to eat sweets without trying to take care of others.