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SARAH RINKAVAGE - MARISOL

What set you on the path to become a Chef, when did you first decide you wanted to pursue this career within the culinary field. What other positions have you held in the past? Can you elaborate on those positions?

When I was in high school, I started working at a gourmet deli in my hometown. I was hired as a barista, but quickly became interested in the kitchen and the Chef’s work. He started to teach me, and encouraged me to go to culinary school. I went to the Culinary Institute of America for two years, then moved to Chicago. I had a few odd cooking jobs before settling at Lula café for seven years. I worked from the bottom all the way to the Chef de Cuisine. From there, Jason Hammel took me to the MCA to help open Marisol, where I am the chef de cuisine today

What would you say is your most intricate dish at Marisol? What’s your inspiration behind it, What’s the story?

Surprisingly the most intricate dish at Marisol is our Sunflower Hummus. To the eye and ear, it may just be a hummus, but it has become our most popular dish. It is quite labor intensive, as it is made of a large number of ingredients and takes a long time to get it as smooth as it is. It comes with flax seed crackers, which look like stained glass, also intricate to make. The inspiration was to create a shareable dish to start a meal with. Something approachable, yet when you taste it, so involved with many flavors. Very surprising. It came about when opening the menu. There was a potato dish we wanted to put on that just wasn’t hitting the spot, so I came up with this dish as a last-minute idea, and it has come a stand by.

What aspects of Skuna Bay brand resonates with you and why? In your experience with working with our Salmon, how is it comparable with other premium products you’ve used in the past.

I love working with Skuna Bay Salmon because it is very reliable. I know each Salmon I get will be perfect and beautiful. I trust the company and their product. The fat content is amazing. We use it to make gravlax and it is very noticeable how much better the mouthfeel, and smoothness of the gravlax is when using Skuna.

Where do you pull inspiration from, for the menu at Marisol.

I pull a lot of inspiration from color. Being in a contemporary art museum, you are surrounded by very modern art that is open to interpretation. It looks simple to the eye, but can be very complex. I feel the same about the food. Often monotone in color, something I like to do, it can be seen as simple looking, but guests are surprised by the intricacies.

How have you applied these inspirational aspects to your dishes, or your menu? Was there any inspiration or influence behind incorporating Skuna Bay on your menu? 

As I mentioned above, you can see the inspiration of art through the colors on the plate. I was influenced to use Skuna, because of the superior product and friendly sales people.