Lesli Myers-Small

Taste and C

Phone: (585) 733-8238

Email: lmyers.small@gmail.com

9 High Point Drive
Spencerport, NY 14559

Where were you born and raised?
was born and raised in Stow, Massachusetts. We moved to Pittsford, New York when I was seven

What was your introduction to cooking/baking?

My maternal grandmother introduced me to cooking. She was widowed very young with five girls and five boys so she had many mouths to feed. She was creative and inventive with the things she made and was really good with making baked goods.

Where and how did you train? (Culinary school, internships, self-taught, family member, etc.)
I am primarily self taught. However, I’ve taken several cooking classes (macrons, wine pairing, sauces, etc.)

Have you always been a chef? If yes, describe your career path. If no, what else have you done?
I have been an educator for over thirty years. I’ve been a high school counselor, and assistant principal, central office administrator, assistant superintendent, superintendent and assistant commissioner for NYS.
If you own your own business(s), when did you open and what inspired you to go out on your own??
My business is in the grass roots stage. I hope to be fully operational within the next year and I am working with SUNY Brockport on my business plan.

Where do your recipes come from (i.e., secret family recipes, trial and error, someone else’s inspiration)?
I certainly have a few secret family recipes from my grandmother, mother, aunt/uncles and my husband. I am an avid Food Network fan and whenever I am out, I often will talk to the chef and ask how the dish was prepared and what the ingredients are. I also like to put a spin on classic dishes.

Is there a chef you admire the most? Who and why?
I really like Kardea Brown. She cooks amazing food that reflects her culture and upbringing. When you’re “off the clock” do you like preparing meals for friends and family or do you prefer someone else to do it? My friends, family and colleagues often want me to cook meals and treats for them which gives me a lot of joy. However, I love it when my husband cooks for me. He makes amazing food!

You have a day to eat anything you want. What will your menu look like?
I love all of the foods and dishes that make up Thanksgiving (deep fried turkey, candied yams, mac and cheese, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, seafood gumbo, mashed potatoes with gravy, peach cobbler, pound cake and sweet potato pie)!
What is your favorite thing to bake? I love making desserts and have mastered making peach cobbler pound cake. It’s a great dessert mash ip.

What are your best and worst skills? List a baking/decorating skill you have mastered and one that, no matter how hard you try, you just haven’t been able to get the hang of.

I am really good with my flavor pallet and know how to elevate flavors in both sweet and savory dishes. I really want to master making croissants, puff pastry and pate choux.

Is there a handy baking utensil that you absolutely can’t do without?
I cannot do without my free standing mixer. I don’t know what I’d do without it.

Besides baking, what are your other hobbies?
I enjoy hiking, traveling, singing and reading a great mystery novel.

Please include any other things you’d like to share.
I am honored and excited to participate for the first time in the competition and looking forward to assisting with such a worthy cause. I also do not like to lose so I am going to really push myself!