A slow cooking favorite – Beth Fisher, Wise Acre
Chef Beth Fisher grew up always in the kitchen with her mom and three older brothers. “My mom was a Southern lady, and I grew up in a loud and fun family; cooking is deep rooted in me from my family and growing up.”
While Fisher always loved cooking growing up, it wasn’t something she considered as a career until she took a part-time job in college making pop-overs. She really enjoyed the comradery in the kitchen and it reminded her of being in the kitchen at home with her brothers.
When seeking out her next cooking job, Fisher really wanted to work at Lucia’s because she liked what Lucia was doing with fresh ingredients and creative, original food. After being turned away three times, she finally got her foot in the door when a friend mentioned that she had a friend that worked at Lucia’s who was going to butcher school for six weeks and maybe Fisher could fill in. Well, she did and ended up staying for 12 years. “I was like a sponge. I tried to learn everything I could. I felt like I was traveling the world through food.”
After Lucia’s Fisher worked independently as co-owner of culinary company TWO Food Wine Design for about 10 years. She helped open Wise Acre Eatery in early 2011. “I absolutely love working in a kitchen. I have a party personality and it is like a party every day, minus the hangover. I just love it.”
Fisher gets her inspiration from cookbooks and reading chefs’ memoirs. “I will pluck ideas from reading and then develop them into my own thing.” Most recently, she has been working on cheeseburger egg rolls. “There is a lot of tweaking involved in perfecting a dish. Getting the idea is the easy part, but figuring out the logistics can be the tricky part.”
Fisher’s favorite ingredient is carrots. “You could prepare carrots 200 different ways and still never get bored. There are so many varieties and so many things you can do with them.”
Fisher’s favorite cooking method is braising. “Slow cookin’ is the way to go.” It reminds her of her Mom putting together a dish in the morning and then ringing her brass bell in the evening when it was ready; her and her brothers would come running to set the table and get ready for dinner.
Because Fisher is a visual person, she will create the look of a dish in her head and then fill in the pieces with fresh ingredients. “It is important for dishes to be visually appealing. Thoughtful presentations really make a difference; and of course it has to taste good too.”
The biggest compliment for Fisher is if someone from an older generation compliments her food or if a Southerner loves her food. “I love Southern flavors but I try to prepare them in a lighter way.”
When not in the kitchen, Fisher loves to garden, work on her yard, fish, boat, go to Twins games, and listen to live music. “If someone invites me to something and I can go, I will go.” She also loves spending time with her two dogs; standard poodle, which she got as a puppy at the same time she was opening Wise Acres Eatery, and a terrier, “which is like the monkey I always wanted as a child but never had.”
Chef Fisher and Wise Acre Eatery are looking forward to the Signature Chef Event. “It is a really great event for raising awareness about the good work the March of Dimes does.”
-Penelope Austin, volunteer committee, read her blog peneoplethefoodie