We had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Gina, a local, Orange County chef on a mission to combine a career with her passion for cooking.
I’m Gina Boyle, personal chef and founder of Quality Thyme, lover of farmers markets, yoga, those inflatable men outside car lots, and dark chocolate.
Starting Quality Thyme came about after a culmination of a few things…
It was clear that more Quality Thyme in the kitchen would be the best way for me to follow my passion for cooking in a fulfilling way.
The name came from many hours of brainstorming, my love of food puns, and one espresso filled creative session with a friend. Quality Thyme is what I try to bring to each of the families I cook for through my seasonal and healthy meals.
My biggest inspirations are the seasons, since, you know, Southern California’s seasons are so varied. Kidding. What I mean is I find a lot of inspiration from the produce that’s in season depending on the time of year. I love the creative challenge of using each season’s fruits and vegetables together in a cohesive dish. I find if you have the opportunity to buy local and seasonal, you don’t have to do much to make a delicious and healthy meal since the produce is so flavorful.
Lately, I’ve been on a Mexican food kick at my house. I’ll make ground turkey tacos or cilantro lime chicken, guacamole or pico de gallo and a caramelized onion and bell pepper satuee. I’ll repurpose these through the week, i.e. cabbage cup tacos one day, taco salad another, and nachos when I feel like having a treat.
I also love infused waters—different mixtures of sparkling or still water with citrus, mint, ginger, cucumber, etc. make staying hydrated a lot more interesting for the taste buds. Headed to my fridge now to pour some!
Most of my favorite family memories are around the dinner table. I love that a shared, home cooked meal provides an opportunity for us to slow down and connect with one another. The most rewarding part of my job is when the families I cook for are able to spend more Quality Thyme together around the dinner table.
Also, spending hours creating meals in my own kitchen for “research” makes me feel less crazy about how obsessed I am with food.
Never go to a grocery store hungry! Bad, bad things will end up in your cart. (To help curb those mid-day hunger pains- take your Ultimate Beauty Body Formula!)
Go in with a plan of meals and ingredients necessary for a few days. That always helps me stay focused on what I really need, take less trips to the grocery store, and cut down on the waste in my fridge.
I make a little bento box of snacks that are easy to eat in the car: cut-up vegetables, hummus, hard-boiled eggs, apples with peanut butter, and nuts.
Someone’s assistant contacted me to do a dinner party for a group of “foodies” and to choose my favorite dishes as the menu, which is my favorite request. I showed up to the most gorgeous kitchen, met with the assistant, and quickly started prepping the meal. When I went to serve the food, the guests were Gordon Ramsey, Ina Garten, Alton Brown, Aziz Ansari, Naomi Pomeroy and Lil Wayne! At the end of the meal, Ramsey said I was “bloody brilliant” and kissed me, Naomi and Ina set up a time with me to get coffee and talk food, Alton offered me a position at SeriousEats.com, Aziz professed his love for me, and Lil Wayne said my meal inspired his next mixtape. Ah, sorry, I thought the question was what would your dream dinner party be like….
Really, my favorite memories are always cooking with my mom in the kitchen and eating in the backyard.
Lemon. Okay, maybe that’s not a spice. I do find that most dishes can be elevated with some acid, and lemon is a delicious healthy addition. Try adding some lemon to your chicken soup the next time you make it.
Paprika is another go-to these days.
Through cooking, I’ve had the chance to get to know the Co-Founder of BikiniBOD, Christie Cash, and learn about her passion for the BikiniBOD community. She genuinely wants to help women through fitness and beauty. I am so happy to support a company whose founder is genuine in her efforts to help women better their lives.
Thank you so much, Chef Gina, for letting us interview you. You can find Chef Gina at chefgina.com or on Instagram @Qualitythyme. Stay tuned for a special BikiniBOD YouTube video featuring Chef Gina in the near future!
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