Monthly Industry Insights

Hear from industry leaders their guilty pleasures, the oddest thing in their refrigerator, their inspirations and take on new trends. We've asked all of questions and have the answers for you here.

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August's Featured Interview: Kristen Ramsey, Krimsey's Cali-Cajun

Chef Kristen will be presenting a culinary demonstration on vegan jambalaya, presented by Savory Hospitality at the upcoming Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo in August.

What is the newest trend you see emerging?  
Vegan food with personality that doesn't necessarily involve quinoa or kale.  People want plant-based meals that are comforting, interesting, fun, and filling!  

What’s the strangest thing we would find in your refrigerator?  
Chayote squash with a face (photo to the right)

If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would that be? 
I'd really enjoy a PB&J sandwich over Lake Gunn (South Island of New Zealand)

Is there one comfort food that you're secretly obsessed with having at home? 
I'm an undercover nacho freak. Tortilla chips, black beans, black olives, fresh green onions, Daiya cheese, and Tofutti sour cream are non-negotiable staples in my home.  Hungry to happy with one bite :)

Which talent would you most like to have that you don't possess?
The talent to finish an entire book.  So many distractions...  

What’s your favorite meal to make for friends? 
Jambalaya!!!! Followed by Apple Pie, King Cake, and Brownies.

Who was your mentor in the industry? 
I'm still looking for "my mentor," but my old boss at Cruzer Vegan Pizza (Los Feliz) helped get me started!  He gave me a lot of good tips and even let me use his commercial kitchen to prep for my very first public event!

If applicable, what was your favorite class in culinary school?
I didn't go to culinary school, but sugar cookie baking and pie crust making with my Maw Maw were some of my favorite cooking lessons.

If you could cook for and dine with anyone, who would that be?
Nikola Tesla.  I have so many questions...and he was a vegetarian so he's automatically cool in my book.


Chayote squash


More about Kristen Ramsey: 

Kristen "Krimsey" Ramsey was born and raised in Baton Rouge, LA and now runs her own Cajun vegan catering company in Los Angeles ("Krimsey's Cali-Cajun"--soon to be a restaurant).  She received her Bachelors degree in Petroleum Engineering from Louisiana State University in 2010, and later went on to receive her M.B.A. in Finance from Texas A&M, Corpus Christi.  After working in the oil industry for five years, she began struggling with the "why" behind her work.  In 2015, she left her petroleum engineering career behind to launch her own catering company and a specialty line of Cajun vegan cooking mixes.  Krimsey has been following a plant-based diet since 2007, and she wants to inspire others to take care of themselves, animals, and the environment through simple diet changes.  



July Insights - Chef Joseph Johnson, Charcoal Venice
June Insights - David Adir, The Carving Board
May Insights - Chef Ricky Estrellado, Nobu New York
April Insights - Chef Manjit Manohar, The Pierre Hotel
March Insights - Chef Justine MacNeil, Del Posto
February Insights - Chef Stephen Yen, Paige Hospitality Group
January Insights - Chef Amanda Martin, Leoness Cellars
November Insights - Michelle Noble, Le Cordon Bleu
October Insights - James McGuinness, Keiser University
September Insights - Norman Van Aken, NORMAN'S
August Insights - Richard Pink, Pink's Hot Dogs
July Insights - Keith Breedlove, Culinerdy Cruzer
June Chef Insights - Rob Valencia, Great Performances
May Chef Insights - Marc Murphy, Benchmarc Restaurants
April Chef Insights - Megan Johnson, Casellula
March Chef Insights - Sara Moulton, Chef, Cookbook Author, TV Personality

February Chef Insights - Barret Beyer, Hell's Kitchen
January Chef Insights - Anton Testino, Mulberry Street Cafe
November Chef Insights - David Binkle, Los Angeles Unified School District
October Chef Insights - Alan Ogard, Lexington Hotel
September Chef Insights - Barbie Marshall, The Farming Chef
August Chef Insights - Cal DeMercurio, Corporate Executive Chef, Black Bear Diner
July Chef Insights - Johannes Bernau, Executive Chef, Who Song & Larry's
June Chef Insights - Ryan Vargas, Chef de Cuisine at Emeril's Tchoup Chop