Hidden F&B: Katie Murdock

From picky eater to reality TV sous chef competitor, we peel back the seasoned layers of this month's guest.


By Helen Mitternight


Brown sugar and sherry vinegar are finishing touches in almost every soup I make.


This may be hard to believe, but Chef Katie Murdock started out her life as a picky eater. She had gotten over that trait by the time she was selected as a sous chef on theFood Network'sIron Chef.These days, she might be in your kitchen or mine.


Chef Murdock works forFood, Fire + Knives,an organization that lets you shop online for a personal chef whose menus you like.


Her take:


Favorite Kitchen Tool or Gadget


I love a microplane for zest or cheese. I’m a really big fan of a rice cooker, too, and I do love my immersion circulator.                                                   


In My Refrigerator (3 Things)


Whole milk, cheese and bacon.


In My Pantry (3 Things)


Peanut butter, cereal, bread — we’re pretty simple.


Comfort Food      


A nice homemade soup, especially tomato roasted red pepper or chicken and gnocchi.


Favorite Smell


The smell of a smoker. I smoke a lot of chicken.


Favorite Drink


Coffee — black with a little vanilla creamer.


Number of Hours You Work a Week


It varies. I can pick my own schedule.


Customer Pet Peeve


That’s why I worked back of house! Honestly, it’s putting salt on something before tasting it.


Most Underrated Ingredient


Fresh herbs. People are afraid and unsure how to use them so they use dried and fresh can change the flavor of a dish.


Meal to Cook at Home


Tacos. I use a Peruvian pepper paste, two sauces, Cotija cheese, guacamole. I really make tacos!


Best Advice a Mentor Gave You


Early on, my boss back in Arizona — Beau MacMillan — told me to put a little brown sugar in every soup you make. Brown sugar and sherry vinegar are finishing touches in almost every soup I make. I also use a lot of clam juice in my soups.


What’s Next?


Right now, I want to focus on what I’m already doing, but I might dabble in catering when my children are older.


Want more of Chef Katie Murdock? Check her out atfoodfireknives.comand tune into herpodcast episode on Hidden F&B for Charleston Grit!