We had the good fortune of connecting with Chef Janet Crandall and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chef Janet, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My family and I moved to Wheaton, Minnesota, a small farming community, in 1975, where my parents purchased a Cafe in 1976 that they ran it for nearly 40 years. My parents were not trained chefs, but were very well versed in the culinary arts. I am one of 6 children and the only child that followed in my parents footsteps. All of us are very successful in our fields of work, which I attribute to the way our parents raised us. They instilled in us a great work ethic, to show up on time, work hard, always push to be the best you can, and also the value of a dollar. Owning a business in a small town we learned that you need to be fair and kind. Being a Chef & Instructor, I have taken these traits, along with a lot of patience, and incorporated them into my work and life.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I love being a teacher in the culinary arts. I am currently heading up a culinary arts program at a non-profit here in Los Angeles. The program is an inter-generational. While in the program, the students learn not only how to cook on a fine dining level, but about respect for the ingredients, decreasing food waste, responsibility, and pride. My motto is “The two most important ingredients are love & pride.” If we don’t care, or are having a bad day, that is the energy we put into our food. If we put love and pride into every dish, the food will be delicious. Professionally I’ve always worked very hard at whatever I do. That was the way I was brought up. I don’t know if I could say it was difficult, because I enjoy what I do. I wouldn’t change my career for anything. Lessons that I’ve learned along the way are to be patient when teaching people not just to cook, but how to eat, as well, and to have a profound respect for one’s ingredients, and for oneself.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Santa Monica Pier for a west coast sunset. Walk around Hollywood Lake. Dining at some of my favorite restaurants: Ca del Sole, Gindi Thai, Hungry Crowd and Musso and Frank. Live music at Hotel Cafe. Petersen Car Museum. The La Brea Tar Pits.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mentors are Chef Jacques Pepin, Chef Andre Soltner, Chef Alain Sailhac, and Chef Candy Argondizza. I had the great fortune to have these giants of the culinary world teach and mentor me while I grew as a chef. I also worked alongside them at the International Culinary Center (formerly The French Culinary Institute). for over 12 years, giving me even more insight and knowledge.
Facebook: Janet Crandall