Interview by Allison Daroie
This week's Monday Maven is Kylee Anderson, who's now making a serious name for herself in the world of fine dining. Kylee is a local chef at Liquid Art House and a very close friend. LAH is an innovative restaurant and gallery concept. The art hanging from the walls is for sale and each dish from the menu is beyond delicious, thanks to the likes of Chef Kylee. Kylee is an inspiration in the kitchen and beyond.
AD: Where are you from originally?
KA: That is a tricky question because I was born in South Korea, yet raised in MA, FL, CA, TX. Since most of my family and friends are located in Boston, MA, and I've lived here for almost 15 years, this is, I suppose, "where I am from".
AD: Where did your motivation to pursue your passion originate?
KA: Well, I wasn't always sure I would cook for a living but I wanted to be a teacher and be involved in the art world. I went to college to be an English teacher and fell in love with fiction. Now, I tell my stories through all five senses on a plate. I now know that being a chef covers teaching, science, and art! I get to be creative and then I get to share that knowledge and passion with others. My mother always cooked us dinner at night and often changed the menu so I grew up trying many different types of food and styles. I tried sushi when I was only 8! This love for food started early and grew as time passed.
AD: What is a typical day like for you?
I am a total night owl. Staying up late and sleeping in is one of the perks of working a night job for me. I usually wake up and immediately brew some dark colombian roast and then make a quick egg based breakfast. Then, I pet my cat, Scout and get ready for work. After, I kiss my boyfriend , Brayan, also a cook at Puritan &Co., and I head to work via bike or T depending on weather. At work, I turn on all equipment, make a thorough prep list and get crack'a'lackin'! I jot down specials and notes about points I need to address in meetings and the rest of my day is full of guiding my crew through preparing their dishes and service. Constant checking of quality and organization is key.Then I head home, make a late night snack and read a cookbook or Eater while waiting for my guy to get home.
AD: What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get where you are today?
Well, in the kitchen you are constantly being challenged as a young cook and especially, as a woman. Unfortunately, the sexism in kitchens has not yet totally ceased to exist. I once had a chef call me names and tell me I was an utter idiot so close to my face that he expectorated on me (which is really unsanitary in a kitchen, mind you)!
AD: What was your proudest moment?
When one of my dishes got the cover photo of the Improper Bostonian's summer food article last year. I'd been conceiving and working on that dish for about 6 months so that was very exciting to see.
AD: What does being successful mean to you?
KA: Living healthy and happy and leaving a minimal footprint on the earth. The environment's health is one of my passions.
AD: What advice would you give your younger self?
AD: How do you relax?
KA: Netflix and some Sauvignon Blanc.
AD: What’s your typical fitness routine?
KA: Yoga by Allison Daroie!... and lots of sit-ups and elliptical time.
AD: What are your daily beauty rituals?
KA: I always go to bed make-upless! Many people have told me I have incredibly soft skin so I should probably mention that I moisturize with Cocoa Butter based lotion daily and I add about a tablespoon of Extra Virgin olive oil to my bubble bath (not a daily, but thought worth mentioning).
AD: What's a go to places in your area?
KA: In Kendall Square, Bon Me, State Park, West Bridge, Puritan & Co. and Tatte are my faves.
AD: What’s the top song on your playlist right now?
KA: Castles Made of Sand, Jimi Hendrix
AD: Who is the most inspiring person in your area and why?
KA: Besides Allison Daroie... ?!?!??! Carolina Curtin, another hard working chef, inspires me with her spirit, hard work, and humor!
AD: How do versatile pieces make your life easier?
KA: They cut down your carbon footprint, make life lighter, and make less of my time wasted. Plus, they look great!
AD: Is there any last comment you would like to leave us with?
KA: Support local business! XOXOXOXO,Kylee