Executive Chef, The Oxford Exchange
Bio: Erin studied hotel and restaurant management at Penn State and attended the Culinary Institute of America. She opened her first restaurant, Zou 75, in Sun Valley, Idaho. In 2003, she got married and moved to Tampa to open a private chef/catering company. The Oxford Exchange brought her onboard to develop their menu, and she stayed on full time to lead the kitchen. She also developed the menu for Fresh Kitchen, of which she is part owner.
Philanthropic efforts: Erin recently partnered with Feeding America Tampa Bay.
When I’m not in the kitchen: I like to do yoga and meditate.
Mentor/role model: I’ve never met him, but one of the people I hold in high regard is Thomas Keller.
Where do you take out-of-town guests to show off the city: Oxford Exchange, Bern’s Steak House, Mise en Place, Edison food and drink lab, Tampa Museum of Art and Curtis Hixon Park. Ybor City is also very cool and rich with history.
Best meal in town: Anything by Marty Blitz from Mise en Place
Motto: It may be slightly overused, but “food is medicine, medicine is food.” I try to always keep that in mind when making menus or what I do at home with my family. It’s very relevant.
If you could nominate someone else for this recognition: Stephen Lanza of Ciccio Restaurant Group. He’s always one of those people thinking of others and how to help them.
If I wasn’t doing this: I’d be a forensic psychologist. I love forensic files. It’s fascinating.
Guilty mall pleasure: Children’s clothing, it’s what I buy most at the mall.
Favorite movie: The Color Purple
Favorite album: The Cure, Disintegration
Last book: Power Versus Force, David R. Hawkin, Ph.D.
How do you spend the holidays: This year we’re going to New York. My sister lives up there, so we’ll spend it with her. We alternate every year.
Dream vacation: I would be to go to Spain and live there for a month and submerge myself into the culture and eat a lot.
If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive: I’d want some answers from Michael Jackson.