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Rachel Thebault, Chef/owner
94 Reade St.
This year we’re serving cupcakes in assorted flavors as well as whoopee pies. We do the cupcakes because they have been a crowd pleaser every year, but this year whoopee pies are new for us at Taste of Tribeca. We decided to do them, because they’re quickly becoming one of our most popular treats!
Who taught you to cook?
Both my parents loved to cook, and I remember helping them from a very early age. My dad was a strict recipe follower, and my mom NEVER even opened a cookbook. I think that combo set me up for where I am today, as a lot of precision is needed in baking, but I’m not afraid to get creative in coming up with new flavor ideas or spin offs on old favorites.
Favorite food growing up?
People are always shocked when I say I have never had much of a sweet tooth. Growing up, my birthday dinner of choice was steak, baked potato and spinach salad — still a favorite meal of mine. Regarding desserts, though, I do have a weakness for dishes involving peanut butter, banana or marshmallow!
For a real splurge, and if you have the space, a Kitchenaid standing mixer will transform your home baking experience. For less of a splurge, an offset spatula or a few pastry bags and piping tips — all of those can come in handy both for desserts and making beautiful hors d’ouevres.
Not reading a recipe in its entirety before launching into it. It is so important to prep yourself by understanding the ingredients, equipment, timing and skills needed for a recipe before you get going on it.
I have suffered so many burns on my hands and forearms, they’re practically immune to heat, but fortunately I’ve had nothing major.
This is really hard to narrow down, as I love so many different foods, but whatever it was I’d want to eat it in the company of 8-10 great friends and have copious amounts of nice wine.