United States Chef
Linsey Murker Chef Profile
"Food is our common ground" James Beard
I am a former southern California girl living the good life in the Texas Hill country with my husband, 2 boys, 1 great dane & 1 mini dachshund.
I have been cooking ever since I could remember. When I was a junior in high school my dad encouraged me to compete in a cooking competition. There was scholarship money involved so I was in. I competed 2 years in a row and my team and I won silver each year. This earned me numerous job offers in the culinary industry and allowed me to study under some great chefs. I gave up my dreams having my own restaurant to be a mom. We moved to our little town in Texas 6 years ago and haven't looked back since. My husband and I have a garden in our back yard where we grow lots of veggies and fruit. I love cooking and preserving the things we grow. I recently got back into the professional cooking world, working part time as a chef in a local restaurant where the focus is on simple french cuisine and CHEESE. We also sell cheeses from all over the world, along with beers and wines from small boutique vineyards and breweries. The job has allowed me to dabble in pastry, making handmade marshmallows (traditional ones and flavored ones like honey lavender, moscato wine, mint chip, chai latte, dulce de leche, etc.) which are very popular as well as tartlets, chocolate mousse and confectionery.
My Dad, he has always been encouraging of me cooking & willing to try anything I have made. He taught me really the basics of cooking.
My Grandmommie (my great grandmother) She is the one who taught me just about everything I know about cooking, baking, gardening etc. She was an organic gardener before there was even a word for it. She was "farm to table" before it was cool. She taught me how to can, make jam, and grow the best juiciest blackberries. (the trick is lots of water and HOT weather)
My Papa (my great grandfather) taught me about the importance of coffee in the morning ;) and raising chickens. Again, he was raising organic truly free range chickens before it was popular. He taught me that happy chickens laid the best eggs. Chickens needed to be free to roam around the property during the day, to sit in the sun and peck around in the grass. He also walked around with them, talking to them. He said this made them feel happy. And to get hard shells on the eggs you put crushed egg shells in the veggie scraps you give them.
My Grandma Alice. She is my mom's mom. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she taught me about Puerto Rican food. She taught me to love plantains.
Mrs. McGinty. My high school foods teacher & Young Chefs coach. She was encouraging and supportive. She believed in our team & she believed in me. When I chose family over career I felt like I let her down and I still struggle with that.
My Aunt Kerry. She is a foodie & loves to cook. She always encouraged me too. Would always run to try something I made and give constructive criticism when needed. We give each other presents for Christmas that no one else understands, like micro plane rasps & garlic peelers but we do.
And finally my husband. Who bought me my first kitchen aid mixer for Christmas. He encourages me, he tries just about everything I make and tells me it all tastes terrific even if it doesn't. He tolerates the piles of unwashed laundry and un-vacuumed carpets so I can spend time obsessing over getting a recipe perfect.
Awards, Honors and Societies
Young Chefs of Southern California Cooking Competition Silver Medal winner 1995 & 1996.
I also teach cooking classes. I've done that for the past few years. Beginner to advanced recipes and techniques.
- The Joy of Cooking (Irma Rombauer & Marion Becker)
- My go-to.
- Larousse Gastronomique (Larousse Gastronomique)
- Contains EVERYTHING you want to know about cooking
- Puerto Rican Cookery (Carmen Aboy Valldejuli)
- The recipes I grew up loving
- Roasting, A Simple Art (Barbara Kafka)
- One of my favorites, the best for learning how to roast meats, veggies even fruit
- Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing (Michael Ruhlman)
- I am obsessed with charcuterie and this book is my crack.
- Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking (Michael Ruhlman)
- Great book. I love the iPhone app. too.
- The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry (Bo Friberg)
- This one, not so much for the home cook, but a valueable resource for me.
Chefs I recommend
- Michael Schaffer (Torrance)
- http://www.depotrestaurant.com/ He scared the crap out of me when I was in highschool but inspired me.
- Richard Blais (Atlanta)
- He inspires me to take risks.
- Eddy Van Damme (Houston)
- I really enjoy his blog and videos since I am getting more into pastry now.
Restaurants I Recommend
- Misto Cafe (Torrance)
- Love their tomato basil Bisque