By Lolis Eric Elie
Studio artistry. Cooking. Marketing. Ski bumming. These are the disciplines Soa Davies has studied. On 'Treme,' we only needed her for the first two. Our off-screen chef, she prepared the food for many of the restaurant scenes this season. The chefs' dinner in the premiere episode this season is one I predict foodies will be talking about for quite a while. Anthony Bourdain wrote the menu as a tour-de-force of classic, all-but-forgotten French high culinary art, and Soa cooked the food.
Soa got her fine dining start in Beaver, Co. with Chef David Walford at Splendido. When we filmed the chefs' dinner scene, Soa was the Director of Operations, Culinary Producer and Head of Research & Development for Chef Eric Ripert's consulting company and his celebrated restaurant, Le Bernardin. Since then, she's left to form Salt, her own culinary and hospitality consulting firm. She's also created a blog for people like me who constantly ask what to cook and how.
I caught up with Soa for a few minutes between consulting work and posting on her blog. We talked about the chefs' night menu in particular and contemporary cooking in general.