‘Food, Glorious Food! This week we talked about Chef Daniela Soto-Innesn, who started working in a real kitchen when she was 14 and Jack Monroe activist, writer and cook.
Daniela Soto Innes
“I started in a real kitchen when I was 14. The whole time I’ve lied about my age, until I got to Cosme — and then I only lied for the first three months. I quickly realized it’s an advantage to be young in such a high position; it pushes people to be better”
Chef Daniela Soto-Innes got her start in kitchens by lying about her age. Her culinary passion was born through exploring the food scene in her native Mexico City, and it blossomed when she moved to the U.S, in fact she started taking culinary classes at age 5. In 2014, at the age of 23, she helped opened Cosme in New York City, serving as Chef de Cuisine. She received the James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef in 2016 within two years of restaurant opening and Cosme was named as one of the world’s 50 best restaurants.
“I love going to the dining room and seeing all the smiles. … I love just watching people enjoying what you are taking from the kitchen,” she says. “It’s crazy because say you have a carrot — a braised carrot, or a roasted carrot. You have to think about the farmer who was so happy when he saw the carrot grow. And then, seeing people enjoying eating that carrot in the restaurant. Seeing the whole picture of things — seeing people happy — is my favorite part of that.”
“Having choices around the food you eat is a privilege…Not mentally calculating the pennies difference in every item that goes into your shopping basket is a privilege, and one that millions of people in the UK (and across the world) increasingly do not have”
They are an activist, writer, blogger and cook and identifies as non-binary. They were a single parent and lived through hard conditions on benefits. They started writing a blog in 2013 – originally called ‘A Girl Called Jack’ and now called ‘Cooking on a Bootstrap’ which eventually led to a cookbook deal with Penguin. They have written 3 books; A Girl Called Jack, A Year in 120 Recipes and Cooking on a Bootstrap.
“I am not saying anything revolutionary. Mostly I am just trying to make beans taste OK and saying that people need a decent place to live.”