Chef Barbie Marshall

Chef Barbie Marshall

Philly is home to an impressive array of extremely talented female chefs.  I had the opportunity to interview Philly's own Barbie Marshall. You might recognize her as a former contestant on Hell's Kitchen Season 10 and All-Stars Season 17. She will be one of the judges for Dish It Up, Philadelphia’s only all-female chef competition on March 28th hosted by Women Against Abuse. Not only is Barbie a private chef and restaurant consultant, but she has also been a domestic violence advocate. Here's my Q&A with Barbie Marshall.

How does it feel to be one of the judges for the 10th annual Dish It Up event?

It's actually an honor to be apart of this event. This will actually be my second time judging for Dish It Up. I've lived with domestic violence. I understand first hand that love shouldn't hurt.

What will you be expecting from competing chefs who want to win this competition?

Last year, everyone was extremely diverse, unique and amazing. Everyone showed their personality on their plate. These chefs put their heart and soul into their dishes and it really shines through on their plates. I don't expect anything less from them.

If you were one of the chefs competing this year, what dish would you want to feature?

If I were a chef this year, I would showcase one of the concepts I've been working on. It would be Baozi--the traditional name for Chinese bao buns. I would want to do something with a bun and maybe some taro because it's a pretty purple. (Dish it Up does not require purple dishes but welcomes them to enhance the theme) It’salways nice to incorporate a theme into a dish. It would showcase a little bit of me and my personality on a plate.

If asked to come back, would you compete on another season of Hell’s Kitchen?

No. Here's how I ended up on Hell's Kitchen twice. My kids dared me to come on the first time. The exposure was great and it also gave me a little anxiety. So many people recognize me. I'm used to it now and it's great. But at first, it was so overwhelming. I've spent a lot of time on a show and people got to know me. I learned to embrace it. Then people started asking me about possibly trying out for every other culinary competition show. Well, I said if Hell's Kitchen ever has an All-Star season then I'll think about it. I didn't realize it would actually happen. When I got the call, I said to myself I'm going to get asked so many questions if I don't go.  I accepted it, but I don't know if I would do that particular show again. I would rather give the opportunity to someone who hasn't experienced it yet. If I decide to do television again, I may try out for another show.

Is Gordon Ramsay as intimidating as he appears on television?

Yes, absolutely.  He's also just as sweet as he can be just like you see on tv. It's not an act.

What are your thoughts on how we can stop abuse?

If you are someone that knows anyone who may be going through some type of abuse, it's very important to be very empathetic and understanding. It often takes more than one incident for someone to leave their abuser. It can be very frustrating for someone who's never been abused to comprehend why someone won't leave their abuser. We must educate people to let them know that fear has a strong presence. Someone may be scared to tell their loved ones about what they're going through and part of the reason why someone may be scared is because their abuser is very manipulativeand has alienated them from other people. If there are children involved, the guilt of how this hurts the children too comes into play. Sometimes it could be a lack of resources, or lack of work experience that could be holding someone back from leaving. A spouse or significant other could be putting that person in a situation where they are very dependent on them. You have to be patient with someone who may be working on an exit plan to leave and it often happens in stages. Sometimes it can even mean having to go back. You want them to leave in a safe way. That’s why it is crucial we have organizations like Women Against Abuse to guide us.

I was able to have a few minutes on the phone with JeannineLisitski, Executive Director and President of Women Against Abuse.  She added:

Our Annual Dish It Up event raises crucial funds for local survivors of domestic violence. Our emergency Safe Havens and Legal Center are the only resources available in Philadelphia for individuals and families fleeing dangerous and - at times - lethal situations. Supporting Dish It Up is an opportunity to take a stand against violence and create safety and hope. We are so thrilled and grateful that Ms Marshall can join us again another year to support our cause.

Barbie, what can we expect from you for 2018?

My goals are to do more blogging and vlogging. I also want to continue working private events, weddings and parties. If anyone is looking to book me, check out my website www.ChefBarbie.comand we can brainstorm your party together.

What’s something that most people wouldn’t know about you?

I have a terrible fear of public speaking. When I was in college, I had to pass a public speaking course in order to get my culinary degree. In order to do it, I started singing karaoke. I sometimes sang with a pianist to help me get over my fear of public speaking. I am able to face my fear that way.

Ok, thanks Barbie and Jeannine! 

Make sure to visit www.WomenAgainstAbuse.org/event/dish-it-up and purchase your tickets now. The event is Wednesday March 28 starting at 6:30 pm at VIE on Broad Street. I will be there – can’t wait to taste all the great dishes and meet the chefs! If you cannot attend, be sure to get online and participate in their text to pledge campaign which will happen that evening—it’s fun and you can see your support take hold immediately! Come out for a great cause and a fun event!

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