Three Questions: Los Angeles community culinary educator, Chris Mason
Chris Mason is an Aussie, settled for many years in Los Angeles. She forged a career in television production, working for David Letterman but when he retired, she decided to follow her true passion and find a niche in the food industry.
An established and accomplished cook and baker, Chris attended numerous culinary classes and importantly, while working with Letterman, was colleagues with a trained chef. This friend really ignited Chris's passion for cooking, the women sharing stories about culinary school, and trading recipes as they worked on the show's production.
True to her warm hearted style, Chris has found herself working in the industry she went in search of, but in a way which gives back to communities in need. Starting out, Chris began volunteering at St. Joseph Mission's Bread and Roses, serving hot, nutritious meals to homeless men and women in a restaurant-style setting with the purpose of fostering dignity and respect.
Meals here are made daily by a professional chef, and a community worker is on hand to connect guests to the services they need to get back on their feet. Bread and Roses Café serves more than 500 meals every week in Venice, California.
These days, Chris works together with a trained chef in the Mission's eight week Culinary Training Program. Twice a week, Chris will be found here with students who are a mix of ex-addicts, domestic abuse victims, the recently incarcerated, or those aged out of foster care.
During the course, they are trained in the classic French method to be employment ready for the restaurant industry.
Chris is a serious swimmer (she swims with the UCLA Masters at Santa Monica beach three mornings a week) and when she's not working at the training school in Venice, she's feeding her family and friends with recipes old and new, and exploring the many culinary delights of Los Angeles.
While catching up with Chris during this pandemic (the school sadly is in hiatus during the pandemic), I asked Chris our Three Questions:
1.Secret naughty food obsession?
70% chocolate, but that's not really a secret!
2.Best thing you ate most recently?
A Trinity breakfast taco (egg, bacon, cheese, potato) from Homestate in Hollywood- simple, but so good. Thank goodness it's a bit far of a drive for a regular stop...
3.Never fail pantry ingredients?
Greek yogurt, lemons, garam masala, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper.