BY SHARON CORRIGAN
When Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen’s (Oceanside) Sous Chef SAMANTHA PARKER was seventeen, she managed a Haggen-Dazs store and did cake decorating. At 18 she went to work on the hot line at Pizza Port in Carlsbad. When one of her co-workers asked what she wanted to do with her life- she told him she was considering becoming a baker. He replied, “Baker, huh? You’ve got to wake up pretty early to do that.” In that moment, Sam began to recognize what she most enjoyed about her job; the fast pace, late nights, cooking by simply feeling out a dish, or improvising on a moment’s notice. The owner began to include her on the team cooking at community events. In 2010 Samantha attended the Culinary Institute of America Greystone and by 2011 she was back in San Diego and was hired by the Flying Pig. After one year she was offered the position of Sous Chef under Executive Chef Mario Moser.
Samantha’s grandparents always helped to support their families through food: one selling street tacos in Los Angeles and the other the owner of a café in Texas. “My earliest memories are gathering around one grandmothers table enjoying food sourced from her own garden after church, or with my other grandmother and all of my aunties making tamales, telling stories and laughing.”
“For me, being a “woman in the kitchen” is the most natural feeling in the world, so I try not to let anyone make me feel like I don’t belong there. I think the most important tool in the kitchen has to be passion. Love every single thing you ever make, own it, put yourself fully into it, and always allow it to teach you something for next time.”
“My chef always told me to show up every day and work for yourself, no matter who you are cooking for or who writes the checks. When we put out dishes or write menus, they have our names on them so always put out a product that you are proud of.”
The Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen offers elevated comfort food using as many seasonal, local ingredients as possible prepared with classic techniques. We also set an example for our community about our joint responsibility to support local produce and sustainable/ethically raised proteins.”