Welcoming our new Pastry Chef, Amanda Mathosian
We are very excited to introduce our company's new pastry chef, Amanda Mathosian! Chef Amanda plans to bring simple, flavorful, thoughtful desserts and pastries to both Corner Kitchen and Chestnut while continuing to showcase local businesses within her food.
Where are you from? Tell us a bit more about yourself.
I am from Long Island, New York where I studied culinary and worked in many restaurants with different concepts (following one chef - Marc Anthony Bynum for 3 years) before moving on to my own thing, working for Chef Guy Reuge - an amazing French chef who was a James Beard nominee for 10 years in a row. I completed my internship (externship?) in Florence, Italy, where I cooked in a restaurant and had intimate culinary classes. Italy is where I learned the value of using minimal ingredients to their full capacity. This is something I truly value that I also want to bring to this program, and a place I would love to go back to as a seasoned chef.
How long have you been in the kitchen?
I have been in the kitchen my entire life; professionally I have worked in kitchens for 15 years. My first job was in a pizzeria at the age of 13, that is where I learned the importance of customer service, consistency, and communication. I was given a lot of freedom to experiment in an industrial kitchen and I feel that is when I knew I would be cooking one day, in this case - baking. I moved officially to back of house in 2015 as a line cook and quickly absorbed as much as I could.
When did you start baking?
Baking has always been a thing I loved to do, it was my therapy. If I had a bad day at school, my parents would come home to three different types of cookies, assorted muffins, or cakes. They came from a box, but I learned how to follow baking instructions well. Growing up I had a love for my family's traditional Armenian cookie and bread recipes. I eventually grew out of just wanting to eat them, and needing to learn how to make them (those did not come from a box!). When I went to culinary school, although I focused primarily on savory food, my baking and pastry chef always said "I see pastry in your future Amanda" - that was seven years ago and I feel he would be very proud to know where I am now. I truly feel that baking has always been a part of me so I guess it's hard to say exactly when I started.
What's your favorite dessert to make?
My favorite desserts to make have to be cookies and cakes. I love that cookies are a quick, 'on the go' dessert, but when it comes to cakes, I love the process. I love decorating them, and slicing into them to see if they look as nice on the inside as they do on the outside. Custards and caramels are another thing I really like to make. Having a good sauce can totally make or break any food whether sweet or savory, so it's a technique I value highly that I continuously strive to perfect. I think after starting this position, ice creams and sorbets are going to be my new obsession since they are things I have not solely focused on prior to here.
What do you hope to bring to the Pastry program at CK and Chestnut?
My goal in this position is to bring simple, flavorful, thoughtful desserts and pastries to both CK and Chestnut. I want to use seasonal ingredients and support local businesses around town as best as I can. Asheville is a crazy awesome culinary destination and I love the sense of family between businesses.
What are your passions?
I am most passionate about my family first, and second my job. I am lucky to work in an industry that is truly my passion and to have a family that fully supports my journey as I grow as a person and a Chef.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work I mostly love to spend time with my sister, my brother-in-law and my nephew. They are the closest family to me and my biggest support system ever since moving to North Carolina from Long Island almost two years ago. The four of us explore new restaurants, breweries, and parks together. My nephew is two in May. Spending time with him and seeing his love for food is something that never gets old for me.