Compliments of the Chef with Mindy Segal

Compliments of the Chef with Mindy Segal

This week, Chefs Feed met up with renowned chef Segal at her restaurant, Mindy's HotChocolate, in Chicago's Wicker Park.

December 18, 2013
CF: I’m best known for being a _______ chef, but I can make one hell of a _______. 
MS: pastry; Bolognese sauce 

CF: How would your sous chef describe you in the kitchen? 
MS: Brutally honest and balls out. 

CF: What are you most excited about right now? 
MS: My new 6,000-square-foot bakery in Logan Square on Fullerton and Milwaukee, opening June of next year. It's going to be a wholesale/commissary kitchen with retail space and a restaurant. It will focus on all things bakery: breads, salads, cheese plates, breakfast pastries, lots of cookies, and all types/forms of hot chocolate, like Good Humor hot chocolate bars and even soft serve hot chocolate. I'm also very excited about my new "cookiebook" coming out with Ten Speed Press in April of 2015. 

CF: Which chef would you drop everything to stage with? 
MS: I would love to spend a week with Marc Vetri. He is the measure of a chef and the one I look up to most in this industry. I would also love to stage with Danny Bowien from Mission Chinese Food. I really like his concepts and it would be really cool to make desserts for his food. 

CF: Insider tip from the kitchen for diners. 
MS: Chefs put a lot of thought into their menus, so please do your best to eat the way chef intended. Oh, and when dining here at HotChocolate, make sure to drink your hot chocolate after your meal. 

CF: Message to professional food critics. 
MS: People that write about food should really know about food. Food critics need to have a background in food; it's important. 

CF: One piece of advice for aspiring young chefs. 
MS: You don't need to go to culinary school to be good, you just need to continually cook and work on perfecting your craft. Hell, I'm still learning and I've been doing this for 30 years. Find a good place, stay there for five years, and learn. Save your money and travel. Read and soak up everything because there is so much out there. When a chef comes to work here, I always share my list titled "What a Cook Should Know." The last one on the list is, "If you are cooking to become famous, take the real estate exam." 

CF: Thick or thin patty? 
MS: I like a thin, caramelized griddle burger. 

CF: Favorite fro-yo combo? 
MS: I always go for the freshest berry flavor they have and top it off with granola or mochi. 

CF: What's for family meal tonight? 
MS: Slagel Family Farm ribs, potato salad, and slaw.