Photo by Made by Meg
Meg Hall is the owner of Made by Meg Catering in Manhattan Beach. She is a Chef and a contestant on Food Networks new show Extreme Chef. Meg also founded Moveable Feast and she is the founder of Snooty Roots, a ChefPages TV Host, and a Gluten-free eater.
Chef Meg started her professional life as a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney. After five years, Meg decided to pursue her passion for cooking.
She attended Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, CA at night and worked the stock markets during the day. Being a constant on the President’s Honor Roll throughout her training, she was honored to work in a Michelin Star kitchen in Los Angeles, Ortolan, with famed Chef & Owner, Christophe Eme. After an exhausting but highly rewarding journey, Meg started her catering business to a warm welcome from friends and former clients.
FM: What items should everyone have in their pantry?
MH: A block of parmesan in the freezer, puffed pastry, EVOO, kosher salt and a pepper-mill.
FM: What item do you use the most in the kitchen?
FM: What is the most unusual thing you have used to cook with (tools or ingredient)?
MH: I have cooked all over the world in places and there are very interesting tools all over, I can’t think of just one in particular.
FM: If you could take a cooking class from anyone, who would it be?
MH: MFerran Adria from elBulli, A Day at elBulli is one of my favorite cook books.
FM: What are your favorite food cities (US and international)?
MH: Paris, LA, New York, a city in Vietnam that I loved but I can’t remember the name.
FM: Favorite food related quote?
MH: “One mans cuisine is another mans poison” you have to understand that what you are serving to people is amazing for some but for others they can’t eat it.
FM: What is currently in your fridge?
MH: What isn’t in my fridge! Ridiculous amounts of cheese like mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, and triple cream brie. Ahi tuna tartare, a vat of reduced balsamic vinegar, enormous amounts of strawberries, hummus, sake, chicken stock, and on and on. It is hard to close the door to the fridge!
FM: Any funny cooking stories to share?
MH: Everyday is a funny cooking story! It is always such a MacGyver situation. Once when I was just starting out, my roommate and I were cooking and using a plexiglass dish, we decided to leave the chicken in the pan while we stirred the sauce and it exploded in to a million pieces, glass was everywhere for years!
FM: What money saving tip you can give people when it comes to cooking at home?
MH: Challenge yourself to not go to the store, give yourself 5 days to see how much random stuff you can cook, it is a fun challenge and you will learn new techniques and flavors.
FM: What food related websites or food related media do you follow?
MH: Professionals on twitter, Eater.com, and the LA Times food section that comes out once a week.
FM: Are there any trends you are seeing in the LA food scene?
MH: A lot of things are micro-seasonal and farm fresh, people are really taking that seriously, the consumer is wanting to know where things come from and are becoming more educated
FM: What is the best dish you have ever eaten and where was it from?
MH: In Florence, Italy, truffle oil and four cheese tortellini and fresh pasta. We ate al fresco in an amazing piazza, I will never forget the taste of that.
FM: Of course we have to ask, what do you like about Food Mafia?
MH: I like the name! It represents a crew of people finding the best places out there. People ask me for restaurant recommendations and I can tell them to go to Food Mafia where there are well-educated diners looking for the next great experience. I will not go out on a 2nd date with someone if they take me to a chain restaurant! Guys have a hard time deciding where to take me and now I can tell them to go to foodmafia.com to find a recommendation and I will like anything that you choose!
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