If you look into the heart of this innovative chef, you’ll see a then four-year-old, Rosalyn sitting alongside her Jewish American grandpa in a 50 square-foot kitchen on the Northside of Chicago. They’re playing a game of who can create the longest apple peel ribbon while making the filling of her first pie. The ritual of this apple pie with her Grandpa Mel symbolizes love and quality time in the form of fruit, spices, and pastry dough. This Asian American toddler can’t fathom the culinary career that will take her around the world, into hundreds of kitchens in twenty years....Right now, she’s just wrapped in the warm glow of love and magic of pastries.
Chef Rosalyn Darling
"My love language is food because food is universal language with infinite dialects."
- Chef Darling
What is your cooking philosophy, and how does it influence your culinary creations?
My love language is food because food is universal language with infinite dialects. Food serves as the conduit for the expression of culture, the preservation of memories, the observance of rituals, and the continuation of traditions. My culinary creations begin at empathy, as I endeavor to nurture those whom I have the privilege of feeding.
So when I start to design culinary concepts and recipes, I always start with the people I’m trying to feed. I want to understand what their lives are like - their joys, struggles, goals, values. What would crave throughout the day, weeks, months, and seasons? By understanding their lives, I can create culinary experiences that support, accentuate, or soothe their unique life narratives.
What is your favorite ingredient to work with, and why?
Eggs have held a special place in my culinary heart for as long as I can remember. From my earliest childhood memories, they have been a cherished food item, a source of comfort, and a canvas for creativity in the kitchen. Soft-boiled eggs or a Thai omelet with rice porridge was an all-day childhood staple at home. From a chef perspective, they’re incredibly versatile in the kitchen. Whether I'm crafting luscious sauces, artisan pickles, vibrant salads, enticing pastries, or satisfying handhelds, the humble egg never fails to shine.
What's the most rewarding aspect of being a chef for you, personally and professionally?
In an age where digital technology is interwoven into our daily lives, there’s a deep satisfaction in the act of crafting something tangible with one's own hands. I’ve always been one to tinker with crafts and find ways to bring joy to the ones I love. Food to me is a medium of creativity and love, and it’s a bonus that I can use it to nourish myself and others. I feel fortunate that I have been able to turn my passions into a profession.
What advice would you give to aspiring chefs looking to make their mark in the culinary world?
Stay humble, hungry, and hardworking. It’s important to know what you bring to the table, AND there’s always something new to learn and experience. Embrace the idea and journey of continuous growth.