About Fat Anne
I am a sixth generation Humboldt County native, and spent many of my childhood days at my Mawsie and Grandad’s house, tucked behind the Redwoods along The Avenue of the Giants. When I think about food, and what led me down this culinary path, I often think back to those summer days of my childhood.
I am flooded with images of my Grandad working in his vegetable garden, sporting his “Sunday Best”: shorts, cowboy boots, and a highball. I think about the times I would sit on the front porch and snap green beans with my grandmother, Mawsie. The smell of canning peaches that filled their small kitchen. Picking berries with my cousins, laughing that we had more berries on our face and hands than in our buckets.
My family is very large, and we gathered at Mawsie and Grandad’s every Sunday for dinner. It was always incredibly crowded in their tiny house, with people gathering anywhere they could find space, but my favorite place to be was always in the kitchen. I was mesmerized by the hustle and bustle of even the quaint home kitchen. My uncles would pop in and ask “What’s cookin’ Ma?”, trying to sneak in a taste. Hands reaching over the crowded counter to get a dilly bean and a slice of homemade bear sausage. Mawsie tasting the mashed potatoes as I was mashing them with all my might, saying “Well I’ll be damned, those are pretty good”. The feeling of being in that kitchen was electric.
I didn’t know it then, but it was these moments that subconsciously drove me to the culinary field. I started to take interest in playing with ingredients, curious what I could do different with the ingredients of my childhood. What happens when you grill a peach? What happens if you pickle a strawberry? I quickly learned that not all ingredients tasted like those from my childhood. The tomatoes at the grocery store were tasteless and watery, the lemon cucumbers didn’t quite have the same crunch, the berries were not even in the same playing field as the ones I grew up with.
I learned it matters where your food comes from, it matters a whole lot. When you know the effort and care that was put into growing the food, you try to put that same devotion into preparing a meal. And it shows big time.
Having completed culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco, I realize my style of cooking was heavily influenced by my family, especially Mawsie. I find myself drawn to rustic dishes, the ones that really feed your soul. I am drawn to butter and salt, just as she was. I dance in the kitchen, I taste as I go, and when I find myself saying “Well I’ll be damned…”, I know my job is done.
We may be behind the Redwood Curtain, but that doesn’t mean Humboldt County is lacking in agriculture or resources. We have so many amazing ingredients and products right at our fingertips. Whether it be from Humboldt Bay, raised on our lush land, or grown in our rich soil, Humboldt County has an amazing bounty to offer.
At Fat Anne’s, we strive to honor the ingredients that surround us. We shop local by working with farmers, ranchers, and makers.