Blog & Media

Meet the Chef: Heidi Blacker

Chef Heidi Blacker has over fifteen years of culinary experience, with a career and life that have taken her across the world. Before making her way to New York, she lived in Spain for many years as a private chef and English language teacher. She loves traveling, having been to South Africa, Kenya, and many other places, and this global perspective is evident in her approach to food.

Learn more about Chef Heidi in her Q&A below!

Chef Heidi Blacker
Meet Chef Heidi!
What’s your name?

Heidi Blacker

Where will you be cooking for Eat In Chef?

New York

Why did you want to work with Eat In Chef?

Although I enjoy eating good food, I enjoy cooking a tasty and nutritious meal tailored to another’s taste and seeing them enjoy it even more. Knowing that I can do something that others may find stressful or don’t the time for, while in the intimacy of their own home,  is very rewarding.

What inspired your love for food and cooking? Why is food important to you?

Some learn a language from a classroom or a book, others by environment, i.e. living and working in the land where that language is spoken. When prepared for the joy of the eater, food is like a language that is understood in any culture and can bridge cultural or language barriers.

Kenya, December 2016
Chef Heidi in Kenya.
Do you have a signature dish? If so, why do you think this dish best represents you?

My signature dishes are: Guinness beef with mashed potatoes, caramelized salmon with cherry chipotle glaze, Portuguese seafood and chorizo soup with saffron and fennel, and gorgonzola-stuffed mushrooms.

I think these dishes best represent me as I still remember the reactions of those who have eaten these dishes, and I like to see people happy and to have played some part in their happiness. I feel I can cook a dish to please any taste and at least one of those dishes could make any person smile.

How do you think diners can use Eat In chef to improve their wellness and overall quality of life?
Eating at home has become a novelty, though I feel it should be an intrinsic part of life. Though I do enjoy going out to eat, cooking at home makes me feel grounded, and cooking or eating at home with and for loved ones has a unifying effect. It’s also comforting to know which ingredients are going into my food and whose hands have prepared it. Even though I often only cook for myself, I think it’s psychologically healthy to take the time and interest to do so. Living in Spain taught me that. Though of course, it did help having a three-hour break mid day, too.
What’s your favorite food?

That’s a tough one. I wonder if a musician has a favorite song? Food is to a chef as color is to an artist. There are endless combinations and I often create a menu or a dish based on who I’m preparing it for and their preferences or dietary needs as well as what’s fresh and in-season. I’ll go to a market and if I see even just a fresh herb that I haven’t used in awhile, that can inspire a recipe or make me recall a meal to recreate. It’s almost like nostalgia.

For example, I was craving a winter salad and at the market and I saw these young Japanese eggplants with nice shiny, firm skin. It reminded me of a friend from Italy who made grilled eggplant slices drizzled with balsamic, olive oil, and topped with basil. That inspired my dinner plan.

An eggplant dish inspired by one of Chef Heidi’s friends from Italy.

In general, I love seafood, veggies, and cheese. I usually make simple things for dinner, like roasted sweet potato fries with Sriracha mayo or a toast with St. Andre and apricot jam, or some kind of salad. At the end of the day, I don’t need anything too labor intensive!

When you’re not cooking for others, where do you like to eat?
I do like cooking for myself at the end of the day, but living in NYC, I always keep a list of restaurants I’m ready to try out. I love traveling and exploring international cuisine. When I do, there are good suggestions from the book Where Chefs Eat.
What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy traveling, reading, drawing, exploring museums, horseback riding, cycling, and other sports.

Click here to view Chef Heidi’s profile page, where you can check out her available menus and request her for your next meal.

Posted on February 27th, 2017 by Ara Galarza