chef. culinary enthusiast and instructor. female boss lady and entrepreneur.

You may have seen this talented woman on the Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay. Katherine Humphus has a passion for food and that passion emerged long before she attended the world-class Le Cordon Bleu to become a classically trained chef. From a small family, Katherine and her older brother were born and raised in San Diego, California. Katherine learned the value of work ethic by example … naturally. Her mother was a ‘mom extraordinaire’ and her father worked hard running his own landscaping business. However, Katherine was most influenced by her Grandmother—who she affectionately called Tata—and her mother. Her female guides spent a great deal of time in the kitchen and that exposure ignited a passion to choose a professional path down culinary lane.

Katherine contributes a large part of who she is by spending time with a handful of daring, outspoken, wonderful friends. She is the creator of Kat’s Collective Kitchen and one of her goals is to bridge the gap between everyday kitchens and the professional ones. She has a strong desire to provide professional culinary instruction to anyone who wants to learn but can not afford culinary school, and for that, she has many grateful followers. Kat is also a surfer, sky diver, and drummer. Evidently, this girl does it all!

katherine humphus.

How did you choose your career and was it a conscious decision?

I always say, as cheesy as it is, my career found me! I didn’t really know “what I wanted to be when I grew up” until I found myself working the line in the kitchen of a local restaurant, called The Prado. I remember very specifically one night, after getting my butt kicked on the line, going up to the chef the next day and asking “so what do I do to become…you?” It is such a sense of accomplishment, pride, and camaraderie to make it through a busy Saturday night on the line, it’s a natural high for sure.

  

Tell us a little about Kat’s Kitchen Collective?

Kat’s Kitchen Collective is my culinary passion project—a website dedicated to bridging the gap between the professional chef and the every day kitchen. I’m sharing my best recipes, my craziest stories, and all of the kitchen tips, tricks, and hacks I’ve learned along the way from working at some of the best kitchens in the world, and in my own home. I offer one on one video instructed recipes, menus, kitchen tips, live webinars, and more! So you can watch, learn, and test everything in your own home, at your own pace.

 

What can you tell those who may want to pursue a career in the culinary world?

Give it a test drive. I 100 percent recommend finding an internship or a job in the field before signing up for culinary school and dedicating your entire life to the culinary world! It is so rewarding but man, it’ll put you through the wringer!

 

You graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris. Spectaculaire! What did you enjoy most about that experience? Can you share one tip that you learned at this iconic culinary institution?

What I enjoyed most at Le Cordon Bleu is above all, the style of teaching! We learned from some of the best chefs in Paris, and they each had their own spin. I also REALLY enjoyed learning different skills and techniques through the recipes. For example, we didn’t have a class on “butchery,” we learned how to butcher through various recipes like beef bourguignon, roasted rabbit loin, etc. It makes it so much more interesting and exciting.

One of the most important things I learned at Le Cordon Bleu is that there is no substitution for doing things the right way. We didn’t have kitchen aid mixers on campus, we used a whisk and a bowl to make whipped cream. It’s always nice to learn the basics. Do I always make whipped cream by hand these days? No, let’s be real, of course not. But am I glad I know how to? Yes! Does it taste better when I do? Yes, I think so!


What has been your favorite summer recipe and why?

Oooh my favorite summer recipe! I really love this strawberry and peach cobbler, with ginger ice cream. Gosh, it is SO yummy!

Kat’s favorite summer strawberry cobbler recipe.

  

What is your best advice on how to live a graceful life?

I love this question! My best advice for living a graceful life is quite simple. Lead with your heart in all that you do. Find compassion when frustration finds you. Give credit when credit is due, ask for help when you need it, and always, always, always, do something that you are proud of.


j. jane side notes:

Check out Kat’s website — you will be delighted!