Chef Christine (Kiki) Homer serves up her dishes at Mas(farmhouse stage) where the food is made in a modern French style. Kiki honors classical technique and draws from regional American foods to create a simple, yet elegant new American cuisine. We spoke to her recently because we love her focus on healthy yet tasteful eating.
FriendsEAT: Kiki, can you give us a little background on your experience?
Since graduation, I have worked in the fields of culinary education and private catering. I also work on a number of special events such as assisting Executive Chef Galen Zamarra of Mas at the James Beard House Dinner and at Taste of the Greenmarket, an annual fundraiser for the Council on the Environment of New York City. I have been a guest chef at The Natural Gourmet Institute of Food and Health’s Friday Night Dinner Program and am teaching public classes at venues such as Whole Foods.
FE: Did you grow up cooking?
KH: Yes. I always enjoyed being in the kitchen. My dad frequently cautioned that “we don’t have food or money to burn” although I don’t remember ever burning anything. A few years after father passed away and my mom returned to school, I asked to cook weekday meals. I was 12. I loved testing recipes. I also began to test my intuition, recalling some of my mom’s techniques. I made everything from homemade manicotti to stir-fry.
One of my greatest memories was making lovely eclairs and cream puffs out of pate choux! My siblings loved the meals I made.
FE: Who was the biggest influence on your cooking?
KH: I would have to say my mother. She was a good cook but more importantly she instilled in us the importance of sitting down everyday with your family for a meal. Also, holidays were elaborate events that seemed to take her days to prepare but she never complained. I suppose that’s why I enjoy the process of satiating others through food. My multi-cultural background (a European mother and West Indian father), extensive international travel and exposure to different cultures have also had a great influence.