Q & A with Chef Haley
At Fresh ‘n Fit Cuisine, we’re proud to employ three full time, highly trained & skilled chefs! Today, we’re highlighting Chef Haley Benson! Haley is our Chef Garde Manger. Translated from French, garde manger means “keeper of the food.” A chef garde manger is one that works in the cold foods area of the kitchen. As part of the Fresh ‘n Fit culinary team, Haley’s focus is on creating and preparing items such as a variety of salads, vegetarian meals, sauces, breads, scones, muffins and other breakfast specialties using all fresh ingredients.
Haley comes to Fresh ‘n Fit with an impressive educational background which includes degrees in Biology and Food Science and Technology. In 2012 she received an Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S) degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. The Culinary Institute of America has the world’s largest staff of American Culinary Federation Certified Master Chefs. Keep reading for our Q & A with Chef Haley!
1. What inspired you to become a chef?
My grandmother was a fabulous cook and baker. My mother learned from my grandmother and even pursued dietetics and industrial administration as a career. My fondest memories of my childhood are centered around food, the taste, the smell, my family, the conversations, even licking the mixing bowl whip after my mother made my birthday cakes. They both inspired me to chase my dreams, and after realizing that what I thought I wanted to do wasn’t in fact what I was happy doing, I changed my major to food science, with the ultimate goal of attending culinary school. Four years later, I have a degree from culinary school and am happy to wear a hairnet for 8 hours of the day!
2. What is your personal favorite Fresh ‘n Fit Cuisine meal to eat/cook?
I love the Lentil Bolognese. Because it is a vegetarian meal that I prepare, sometimes I even cheat and make a little extra for me to eat immediately after I cook it. I love it that much! It’s healthy. It’s hearty. It’s delicious!
3. What’s your favorite thing to cook/eat when you’re not working?
I’ve always been a pasta girl. Pasta is easy, to prepare and clean, and cost effective. Shrimp Scampi is my favorite thing to cook and eat when I’m not working. Minus the butter that I usually use, which can easily but substituted, it’s not too terrible for you. Lemon, parsley, capers, whole wheat pasta, Parmesan, and shellfish; it’s tasty and fail-proof! Also, I’m a baker by trade; baking is what brought me to this industry. I love baking anything and everything:crème brulee, muffins, chocolate chip pound cake, etc.
4. With so many meal plan options out there, what do you think makes Fresh ‘n Fit Cuisine the best choice?
The meals at Fresh n Fit are chef-driven and never frozen, two of, in my opinion, our strongest selling points. The meals are innovative, and with the four different menu options, the possibilities with Fresh n Fit are endless. With our rotating seasonal menus, our meals are seasonal and fresh, and one cannot claim to be bored with our meals, as they change about as often as they are introduced!
Want to get the meals that Chef Haley and our other talented chefs put together? SAVE 10% on your first order with promo code BLOG10! http://www.freshnfitcuisine.com