Jane Vitagliano works as a consultant for Clarke at 7 Tide–Sub-Zero/Wolf’s Official Showroom and Test Kitchen. She often works with customers who are in the process of remodeling or building new kitchens. When you buy an appliance from Clarke, Jane demonstrates how it can be used while cooking a savory dish for you to enjoy at the same time.
1. What inspired you to become a chef?
I honestly kind of fell into it. I had read an article on a culinary program that Julia Child and Jacques Pépin had developed, which they were teaching at Boston University. Through a series of weird coincidences, I was lucky enough to end up in the program. It was amazing and I discovered I had a passion for cooking—and was actually pretty good at it!
2. How cool! What was your biggest takeaway from that class with Julia Child and Jacques Pépin?
My biggest takeaway was that the best dishes can be simple dishes. Food doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated, it just has to be cooked well with the freshest ingredients. Also—try not to take yourself too seriously!
3. You also trained under a number of French chefs, can you tell us how that has influenced your cooking?
I learned that you have to put love into every step of the cooking process–I know it sounds corny but it really is true! If you rush through a meal or don’t enjoy the process, you’re missing the point and your finished dish will reflect your haste.
4. What is your favorite dish?
That is a really hard question for people who cook because it depends on the season and what is available at the market and locally. Two things I do use all the time are zest—lemon, lime or orange—and alcohol—Noilly Prat, sherry, cognac, Cointreau or Calvados.
5. What brought you to Clarke at 7 Tide?
I’ve been with Clarke for a little under two years. I left restaurant cooking for a job as a food stylist, which segued into a private chef business, then I took a position with a German appliance company and ran their New England Showroom and culinary program, which was a natural transition to Clarke at 7 Tide.
6. What do you love about cooking with the convention steam oven?
What don’t I like! The ability to reheat foods so they taste like they were just made, adding some steam to roasting meats, fish and vegetables, which allows you to keep all the moisture in while crisping the exterior. No longer needing a water bath to cook delicate desserts—the list goes on and on. Also, it can be used as a regular oven, a warming oven as well as being able to use it to defrost, dehydrate and proof.
7. Have you noticed a rise in induction cooking?
Yes, definitely. I think people just saw induction as another type of electric cooktop and didn’t pay much attention, but little by little with the help of live showrooms, such as Clarke at 7 Tide, and a lot of great press, people are taking the time to learn about induction and seeing how great it is to cook with.