Kelis’s song “Milkshake” may have brought all the boys to the yard in 2003, but these days it’s just as likely to be her haute cuisine that lures admirers.
New York Times Caught up with the Saucier.
How did you get involved in cooking?
Growing up, my mom had a catering business. I used to help her pretty early on and loved doing it. My mom is an amazing cook, and she helped me cultivate a love for food. She taught me that food can be beautiful. We eat not just for survival, but we survive to eat. It’s part of who I am.
Your mother is of Puerto Rican and Chinese descent. What kind of food does she make?
She has vast knowledge of cooking techniques from around the world, even though she is a born New Yorker. As kids, my three sisters and I had very developed palates and ate all kinds of things. She is still a way better chef than I am, and when I’m testing recipes I’ll call her. She trained for a while, but didn’t finish.
But you studied at Le Cordon Bleu, right? What was that like?
My time in culinary school was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I loved the intensity and competition of cooking. It’s a French culinary school, but you learn everything.