At Home With Chef Rosalyn Darling
Meet Rosalyn Darling, a Chicago-based culinary creative who gets to play with food every day. Combining her background in marketing, management, and entrepreneurship with a culinary arts degree, Rosalyn grew her passion for innovating food into a career that led her to her role as a Research and Development Chef at CSSI Marketing + Culinary. In her daily work, she helps create menus and products for corporate clients, and demonstrates techniques at events. We caught up with her to ask her to give us a look at how she cooks when she’s not on the clock. It just so happens that Thermomix® has made the jump from her work kitchen to her home kitchen!
Three words that describe your kitchen at home are?
Robust, because I have a lot of really cool ingredients at my disposal. Clean, because clean kitchens make clean food. And creative, because I don’t normally follow recipes at home. It sounds strange, but I bake by feel. Once you learn the chemistry of baking, you can kind of stretch it, play with it, and make new things.
What’s the most important element in a home kitchen?
Aside from my chef’s knife, cutting board, and pots & pans? Really good, fresh ingredients. Without high quality ingredients there’s not much you can do. You can have the best equipment, but without the best ingredients you won’t go very far. After that, having high quality equipment. You don’t need a lot of specialized equipment. You just need a few things that are very versatile. That’s why I love the Thermomix®.
What is your favorite meal to make at home?
I like comfort food, like a really simple noodle soup or rice porridge. I’m Chinese and Thai, and I grew up in Thai culture. I love hot soups with either rice or noodles or hot pot style dishes. You make a really good soup base, mix rice or noodles into it, and top it with all sorts of goodies like vegetables, fish, or chicken. I also like making sauces and different condiments to customize it depending on my mood.
Can you describe the recipe you created for Thermomix®?
The recipe inspiration for the Meringue Clouds with Sabayon and Berries happened because I was looking for a sweet dessert that was light, refreshing, had a balance of different textures, and still felt indulgent enough where people would be satisfied eating this as a dessert. I (wanted) to combine my love of pastry making with my aspirations of health and wellness.
How did you first hear about Thermomix®?
Coincidentally, I was in the market for a new Vitamix and my food processor had recently broken, so I found Thermomix® at the perfect time. I saw a demo at the Culinary Institute of America Worlds of Flavor Conference in Napa and got to see it in action. I hadn’t really heard about it before that.
We know that you use the Thermomix® in your work, but how do you use it at home?
It’s very rare that I store a piece of equipment on the countertop, but I think this one will have its place there. I’m hoping it can replace as many small appliances as possible, knowing that the Thermomix® has so many features.
You can do smoothies, sauces, eggs…I am actually pretty excited about making bolognese in the Thermomix®.
Why would you recommend it to at-home cooks?
Because it makes gourmet cooking very approachable. You can use the recipe key, and it will walk you through how to make Hollandaise sauce, a recipe that is pretty culinary-forward. Something like that requires a certain finesse that you’d learn in culinary school. Some of these items are made only by trained chefs, but the Thermomix® decreases the margin of error and makes it so simple. The machine will even weigh (ingredients) out for you. I haven’t used this feature yet, but it can populate a meal plan for an entire week, then make a shopping list for you. It’s like having the expertise of a trained chef in your kitchen. Plus you can multitask with it— cooking quinoa in the bottom, using the steamer basket on top. It’s a pretty amazing piece of equipment.
What’s your favorite thing about cooking at home away from your professional kitchen?
I get to make things just the way I like it, any type of weird flavor profiles that don’t necessarily seem to go together. At home, I don’t have to explain myself, and I can have (food) just the way I like—with no pressure to fit certain expectations.
Are there other gadgets, kitchenware, or kitchen/cooking essentials you use regularly at home? What are they?
A good knife, cutting board, and good pots and pans. The only other gadget I really use is a sous vide machine, which lets me cook really large volumes.
What is your favorite feature on the Thermomix®?
The bread kneader and the whisk attachment for making meringues for Pavlova, which I top with an Italian cream called zabaione, infused with Pinot Grigio.
Ever wanted to cook like a pro at home? You can. Unleash your inner chef and book a Thermomix® demo today!