Interview | Featured Recipes
Q: What influenced you to pursue a career as a chef?
A: I lived in Italy after college and loved everything about it … the food, the wine, the culture, the art. Once I married and returned to Texas, I wanted to have a business that involved Italy (because I wanted to travel there more often) and food (because I loved to cook) . So, I began thinking about what I had loved in Italy that we didn’t have in Texas, and I came up with the idea of Fresh Mozzarella.
Q: Describe your cooking style?
A: Fresh, local, Italian-inspired.
Q: Who taught you the most about food and cooking?
A: I learned the most about cooking by traveling and tasting.
Q: Describe your journey to get where you are.
A: Once I founded Mozzarella Company, I realized that I was making cheeses that people didn’t know how to use. So, I began creating recipes that I passed out on little cards. Next, I decided that I wanted to write a cookbook, and I learned how to do this and succeeded in publishing two cookbooks. This led to teaching cooking classes around the country, which that led to teaching cooking classes in France. And now I have a new business called Viaggi Deliziosi, and I teach classes in Italy.
Q: Tell us a little bit more about your new business venture.
A: Viaggi Deliziosi is my new travel company. I take small groups to Italy for culinary weeks. We go in the Spring and Fall and stay in a beautiful villa. Each day we go to nearby villages to explore history, art, wine, food and more. And, we cook dinner together several evenings. It is so much fun.
Q: If you could choose any chef dead or alive to spend the day with cooking, who would it be and why?
A: Julia Child. I truly loved her and respected her knowledge and technique immensely.
Q: What is your favorite Chefwear item and why?
A: My red chef’s jacket in which I was photographed for the (Dallas) catalog. I wear it at all my cooking classes in France and Italy. I love the way it fits me.
Q: What would your last meal on Earth be and why?
A: I must say this … Mozzarella and Tomato Salad …. and it is true.
Q: What advice do you have for the future chefs out there?
A: Pay attention, work hard, read and study, and taste, taste, taste.
Q: Awards and accolades.
Dallas Historical Society, Creative Arts Award, 2011
Good Food Award, 2012
The Gourmet Retailer 1st Annual Industry Innovator Award, in recognition of Paula Lambert’s unique contribution to the gourmet retail industry, 2010
International Association of Culinary Professionals, Entrepreneur Award of Excellence, 2006
James Beard Foundation, Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, 1998
Mary Baldwin College, Career Achievement Award, 2005
Roundtable for Women in Foodservice, Pacesetter Award 1992
Saveur Magazine, Authentic Star of Texas Award, 2005
Savor Dallas, Texas Spirit Award, 2005
Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, Nominee, 1988
Who’s Who in Food and Wine in Texas, 1988
Les Dames d’Escoffier International Grand Dame, Nominee, 2013
Watermelon Salad with Fresh Mozzarella