When thinking of chefs, you tend to imagine them in a commercial kitchen, surrounded by stainless steel, working in organized chaos. But what about when the chef goes home for the evening to the comfort of their own kitchen? SB Magazine visited three local chefs in their homes to find out about their personal cooking space and the changes they would make if they were designing their dream kitchen.
Ernestine “Tootie” Morrison
Chef at Abby Singer’s Bistro & Owner of Earnestly Tootie’s Chef Services
Morrison recently returned to the helm of the kitchen at Abby Singer’s Bistro on the top floor of Robinson Film Center of Shreveport — let the Shreveport foodies rejoice. But she wasn’t on a hiatus from cooking. Instead, she was busy focusing on her catering business, Earnestly Tootie’s Chef Services, named in honor of her late father Earnest Scott.
A kitchen gadget connoisseur, Morrison has everything from a grill-top pizza oven (her favorite thing) to an edible spoon maker. The kitchen has a mobile island that she uses for her prep work and a deep window over the sink, perfect for cooling rolls. But she would change some things about the space. “I would knock this wall out and just extend it and make it more open. Because this is where everyone seems to migrate,” she said. Other than making her kitchen larger, Morrison would love to have a pot filler, an indoor grill and maybe a commercial stove, too.
Most important kitchen appliance: My gas stove. Which was actually electric and then we converted to gas because I was like ‘I can’t cook on electric.’
Number of times in a week she cooks at home: As of lately, not very often. Maybe once or twice a week.
Most used kitchen utensils: I have a favorite knife. It’s actually not here. It’s in my catering kitchen because I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking at home. But it was knife that was gift-ed to me by Hugh and Teri Kerr for Christmas. Hugh Kerr has since passed away so each time I’m using this knife it really has sentimental value.
Her go-to meal: Pasta is probably my go-to. Just a simple tomato sauce with garlic and maybe a little anchovy, toss it in pasta and sit in the middle of the floor and eat it. Or cereal because I’m that girl. After a long day of cooking in the kitchen or working, just give me a bowl of cereal.
Ingredients everyone should have on hand: Definitely olive oil, garlic. I’m a big ginger nut. Black pepper, some kind of pasta (penne is prob-ably my favorite), a pasta sauce and salt.
If she could invite anyone over for dinner: My grandmother, Carrie Scott, because my recipes are things that I watched her doing growing up and she passed away in 1995. She never got to see me as a chef because then I was waiting ta-bles. I would also say Ina Garten because I style myself after her cooking style so I would want her to be like, ‘oh yeah, that’s cool.’ The Obamas and Julia Child.