There’s only something bigger than her smile, and that’s her passion for cooking. We are talking about Chef Macy MacNealy, Resident Chef at Publix Aprons Cooking School, a woman who can’t hide her love for what she does.
In fact, she loves cooking so much that she can work 18 hours shift and then get back home to cook again for her family and friends, and you can tell this is true by the spark in his eyes when she talks about how much she enjoys herself in kitchen.
But this could have been foreseen very early, as since she was a little girl she would sneak on the kitchen the moment her parents weren’t home so she just could play pretend being a chef even if the dishes never came out right back then. At the moment, it wasn’t clear where that path would take her, but now, several years later, she knows that’s when all started. Maybe it had to do a bit with the fact that MacNealy`s mother wasn’t that skillful as a cook, so the moment our little soon-to-be chef started trying new flavors and combinations, a new world opened and she began to understand cooking was more than just eating.
Moving to Louisiana after living most of her life in California, shocked her in many ways, but mostly because of the food. Although she used to stick to Mexican and Asian food while in California, when she moved south the food, and its flavors really opened her mind, giving her the final push into a cooking career.
As a chef, she understood that clients want a bit of everything, “not too spicy, not too sweet”, which is why she always tries to find that “fine line”, that balance, that will captivate the diners, which is finally the rewards that motivates her. And that’s what really moves her, the faces and the expressions of its clients when they try her dishes, that “wow” moment it’s that makes all the effort worth it for her.
MacNealy likes it old school though, she highly enjoys preparing an amazing fried chicken, or macaroni´s and cheese while elevating the cuisine level with a twist, dishes she consider “comfort food” that have the power of bringing back home memories and touching people sensitivities.
Although she worked as a Sous Chef for Fleming’s, she considered that the corporate side wasn’t quite right for her, she wanted a bit more creativity freedom. When she heard about Publix and its Aprons Cooking Schools she discovered something in her, her desire to teach other people, to give “hacks” and advice to them, to make their lives easier while cooking, spreading love for well prepared food.
Publix Aprons Cooking School it’s not necessarily about certifying people as a chef, but more as making them love home cooking by making it easier and fun for them, even if it’s something as simple as grabbing and using knife correctly (something most people assume they know, but they don’t).
MacNealy considers herself more of an artist than a manager, and that’s not really hard to tell from the way she speaks. She loves creating, she loves creativity and then, she loves sharing her work and experience with everyone else.
And for those who are starting a chef career, she has a clear piece of advice, which is not thinking that a diploma will instantly shoot you to an executive chef position, in fact, the path to get there will be long and rough, but the secret is really enjoying the whole ride.