Chef Rossi is a catering chef dubbed the “wildest thing this side of the Mason-Dixon Line” by Zagat. As the catering director, owner, and executive chef of The Raging Skillet for the past twenty-three years, she has earned a reputation as the person to call when its time to do something different.
“The Raging Skillet: The True Life Adventures of Chef Rossi, A Memoir with Recipes” is her latest project. “The Raging Skillet” gives readers a glimpse of the creativity of the kitchen.
The book has now come to life in a stage play, recently playing at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater in August 2018. Raging Skillet is one woman’s story of cooking her way through some of life’s most significant challenges in New York City’s unlikely kitchens. The show is directed by Sasha Brätt, with Shanel Sparr as Chef Rossi, Kathryn Kates as her mom, and Michael Patrick Trimm as DJ Skillit.
For Chef Rossi, what began as a revolt against the microwave turned into a quest to make food that is fearless, fun, and, most importantly, delicious.
1. Describe yourself in a six-word sentence.
I’m loud, proud, honest, fierce, and fair.
2. What was the last thing you posted on social media?
I put up a black box on Instagram and wrote, “Imagine a world without women.”
3. What do you think is the main challenge facing LGBTQ people in your community?
Living in NYC, it’s easy to live in a safe bubble and not realize how hard it is for the LGBTQ community in less accepting places. It’s important to look out and reach out.
4. What is your favorite LGBTQ business where you live?
I love Henrietta’s, the long-standing lesbian bar in the West Village. There are so few lesbian bars anymore. I’ve known Lisa the owner since the 80s. She’s a great, community-minded gal.
5. What advice do you have for people looking to get into the restaurant business?
Take an internship or a low paying job to get your feet wet and see what it’s all about before you spend a fortune on cooking school. You learn more on the job anyway. It’s not as glamorous as they make it seem on TV.