Jaritza and I have crossed paths a few times. She (along with Danny) kept me company at last year's Oozefest, when I was confined to a chair and crutches. While I associate her with desserts, her talent goes far beyond. From butchery to executing a perfect tamale, Gonzalez is an asset to the Anepalco kitchen.
Most undervalued ingredient.
Love! Some people forget to cook with love; that makes a great difference.
Tell us about your culinary experience.
I grew up in the food industry. I went to culinary school for five years. My major was international cuisine and I specialized in chocolates.
Do you prefer working with fruits or chocolate?
Both [Editor's Note: But she does love chocolate.]
How is working the pastry line different than working the savory line?
Pastry could be a little more delicate.
Are there stereotypes that people have about pastry chefs, and are they true?
One of them is that they think we can't cook a steak, and in this case, it's completely false.
Where was your most recent meal?
What are the challenges to creating a pastry menu that keeps with the style of Anepalco's regional Mexican cuisine?
Chef Danny always supports my crazy side, but I always try to keep the flavors that remind me of my childhood.
Favorite meal growing up:
Fresh flour tortillas made by hand.
Weirdest customer request (and did you do it?).
An omelette with no eggs. No, I always try to serve dishes that I feel proud of.
Where did you grow up? And if you're not from Orange County, what brought you here?
I grew up in Mexico. I came here when I was seven, traveled and lived in Greece for three years.
Favorite childhood memory:
Cooking with my grandma.
Tell us about working with Danny. What have you learned from working with him?
So many good things. He has taught me to let go of my shy side. As a leader, you need to have a tough side. I definitely have come out of my shell.
Your earliest food memory:
Your best recent food find:
Ink LA. Their food is also innovative.
You're making breakfast; what are you having?
Pancakes. They will melt in your mouth.
When you're not in the restaurant, what are you doing in your free time?
Cooking, reading, learning about different types of food.
Hardest lesson you've learned:
Being shy, you have to let it go. In the kitchen, you need to be tough.
Do you have any skills that have nothing to do with food?
I like to run.
Tell us something most people don't know about you.
I am Mexican, but love international cuisine. Love to fuse different types of cuisines.
What would you like to be doing if you weren't in this industry?
Can't imagine my life without cooking.