Palm Beach

May 22, 2011

Interview with Francy Deskin, Chef de Cuisine at The Office Delray Beach

This week’s Chef in the Spotlight is Francy Deskin, Chef de Cuisine at The Office in Delray Beach. Francy is a woman after my own heart, her answers to her last meal on earth and guilty pleasure foods synched that. Francy is a proud Mom, talented culinarian and a well balanced professional in a very demanding position. Read on for more spotlight insight into one “The Avenue’s” all around gifted Chefs, Francy Deskin

South Florida Food and Wine: Where do you get your culinary inspiration?
Francy Deskin: I get my culinary inspiration from the seasons. Being in Florida, sometimes this is a challenge as we only experience two of the seasons: hot and hotter. But still, I think I identify with nature’s cycles, and when the vegetables and fruit quality and abundance increase, it only makes sense to oblige and showcase that particular piece.

South Florida Food and Wine: When did you realize that cooking was your passion?
Francy Deskin: Probably when I was four years old preparing French toast! I was in the middle of the kitchen floor cracking eggs and milk into a mixing bowl to make breakfast for my visiting aunt. It was such a fond memory for her that she embroidered me a wall hanging depicting the scene!

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite item on your menu?
Francy Deskin: The menu at The Office is “Sofie’s Choice” for me. To pick a favorite would be to betray another.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite dish to make at home?
Francy Deskin: “Saucy Chicken” There is no recipe for it, but it usually cleans out the fridge of all vegetables and half empty wine bottles. When I make it at home, I am reminded of my mother making one of her most beloved meals, wherein she shakes meat and flour in a bag, and does not shake too much of the flour off “because it’s good for the gravy.” AND my daughter loves it, which makes it a pleasure to cook.

South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?
Francy Deskin: Perfectly cooked risotto with morel mushrooms and Parmigiana Reggiano.

South Florida Food and Wine: Who is the one person you would love to cook with and why?
Francy Deskin: I would love to cook with Alice Waters. She is a wonderful inspiration to me for her dedication to fresh, organic, farm-to-table food cooked simply. Our supper would of course begin with a trip to the farmer’s market!

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one guilty pleasure food?
Francy Deskin: I don’t feel guilty about food, especially if it brings me pleasure. I just don’t eat too much of it. If I were to eat too much of it, then I would get a belly ache and lose that pleasurable feeling, and then I’ve stopped respecting the food the food that brought me so much pleasure to begin with.

South Florida Food and Wine: What was the last restaurant you ate at?
Francy Deskin: Pho 78. It’s a simple Vietnamese restaurant tucked away in a plaza that gave us a nice, authentic experience. We tried their house specialty, which was a pho with several cuts of beef. My daughter is still learning the art of chopsticks, and she actually picked up a bean sprout while here! And she giggled when I told her it was okay slurp her broth and noodles. A restaurant I am looking forward to going to next month is The Lazy Goat in South Carolina. I’ve heard they dabble in house-made charcuterie.

South Florida Food and Wine: Who would you most like to cook for? And why?
Francy Deskin: I would love to cook for Julia Child because she loved to eat, and had such an appreciation for food and wine. It would give me a chance to thank her for her tireless efforts.

South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your day off, what do you do for fun?
Francy Deskin: My daughter gets first dibs on my days off. If she is preoccupied, I love going to yoga or on a power walk in my neighborhood. I also love quilting. My day off goes by much faster than my days at work!

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