Rossy Earle prides herself on her ability to mix and match flavours between Panama – her homeland – and Canada – her new home. She tries to bring the best of both worlds, like in this spectacular creation: Panamian tamales stuffed with duck and chicken confit, and smoked pork belly.
If you’ve never met Rossy herself, chances are you have seen her famous hot sauce before. Diablo’s Fuego is all over on specialty stores and restaurants. Sweet and super hot, it’s designed to make your taste buds travel to South America, just like Rossy’s food in general.
Get to know her better through this fast and fun interview:
DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY CHARM IN THE KITCHEN?
A tiny kitchen witch.
WHAT’S THE LAST THING YOU BURNED?
This morning’s oatmeal!
YOUR FAVOURITE SPICE?
WHAT MAKES YOU “KITCHEN ANGRY”?
I need things to be organized and clean, so messy and all over the place work environments stress me out. Same for the lack of hygiene in the kitchen and on the person. Oh, and also when people take my kitchen towels… get your own!
LATEST FLAVOUR COMBINATION YOU DISCOVERED?
Different types of savoury caramel on proteins.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST EXTRAVAGANT PURCHASE?
That’d have to be between my gigantic Robo Coupe immersion blender and a chef’s table dinner at Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant.
FAVOURITE SONG IN THE KITCHEN?
That depends on my mood, but I love old school blues, crooners, big band and classical.
And of course, there are times when a little old school salsa and merengue are needed!
WHAT’S YOUR COMFORT FOOD?
Panamanian breakfast of frituras (fried things), chicharrón, cassava, empanadas and tamales.
And anything cooked by my mom!
WHAT’S YOUR MOST ESSENTIAL TOOL?
A sharp knife and the aforementioned gigantic immersion blender.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Equality, recognition and respect for women in the kitchen, on the floor, in management, everywhere!
Better conditions, options and tools to deal with stress and mental illness, for everyone in our industry or not.
FAVOURITE SMELL IN THE KITCHEN?
Garlic and onions sautéed in butter, olive oil with cilantro and achiote, smells of home… and the smell of brown butter anything.
WHAT’S YOUR BAD HABIT?
Oh… so many! Haha.
I spend a lot of time organizing and cleaning. Not really a bad thing but can slow things down a bit for others.
WHAT DO YOU ADMIRE IN OTHER CHEFS?
Respect for their peers, dedication, innovation, and love for their craft.
WHAT OR WHO IS YOUR GREATEST INSPIRATION?
On a personal level, always my mom.
Professionally, too many to mention but I take my hat off to all the amazing women who are in this business. It’s not an easy industry to be in, even less for women.
THE DISH YOU ARE THE PROUDEST OF?
Not a dish per say, but I would choose my Diablo’s Fuego hot sauce.
WHAT’S YOUR END OF THE WORLD MENU?
The biggest array of all South East Asian food, Maison Publique’s Huître au Four, fried chicken, childhood faves like tamales and bollos, chicharron, my mom’s potato salad and roast pork leg, my grandmother’s fish escabeche, flan de caramelo and the ice cream caramel sundae from La Inmaculada in Panama.
YOUR FAVOURITE ADVICE OR QUOTE?
My own quote: “Do a few things really well, rather than 20 half-assed.”
Advice: don’t take other people’s F$%#! kitchen towels! Oh wait, I already mentioned that…