Meet Our Model: Gabi
Who: Gabriella Vigoreaux
Owner/Chef of Vicky G’s
What made you want to become a chef? For as long as i can remember I have been HUNGRY, and I mean that literally and metaphorically. I grew up in a small town with not a lot of food options besides chain restaurants. I learned to create those culinary experiences for myself at a young age.
What’s your favorite thing to cook for a party? Paella! Or a whole fish with lotsa veggies.
What’s your favorite thing to eat? My homemade sourdough with crunchy peanut butter, figs, honey and Maldon salt!
What motivates you every day? The women in my life. My mother, sisters, grandmother, and partner. They are all the smartest, most hard-working people I know.
What’s inspiring you at the moment? My partner and I are working on a new culinary endeavor which I’m very excited about. Stay tuned!
What was it like to manage and run your business during the pandemic? I’m very lucky that people still had to eat, and at the time I was running a mostly delivery model. I work out of an incubator kitchen so I didn’t have to worry about a restaurant closing or how to make rent. Business was fine but because I had no social life I was completely consumed in work and had multiple rounds of burnout.
What cooking tip would you give someone who’s just getting started? This one makes me cringe because I heard it from so many of my test kitchen bosses. Read a recipe all the way though before you start cooking it. I can’t stress the amount of times I’ve expected to have dinner on the table in an hour and then I read the dreaded last line, “Refrigerate overnight.”
What’s your favorite kitchen appliance or tool? A wooden spoon! I collect them. The wonkier the better!
What advice do you have for the self-proclaimed “can’t cook” cooks? You just have to do it more. Getting comfortable in the kitchen doesn’t happen overnight, so make it a habit to spend more time in there. Make it fun for yourself and never attempt to cook something new when you’re already starving and hangry.
Where is the best place you’ve ever visited? Mexico City and Barcelona
Where do you want to go that you’ve never been? Portugal
Where do you go to find yourself? I’m not one for meditation or introspection. I feel most present when i’m working which probably isn’t the healthiest. I’m working on that ;)
Where do you feel most energized? En la cocina of course.
Why are you excited about Wherewithal? Traditional bra/cup sizes are so inconsistent across brands. I think Wherewithal’s sizing is pretty revolutionary and more body-specific.
Why did you decide to go to culinary school? I went to the University of Miami for Art History, but I spent more time thinking about cooking than Caravaggio. I don’t believe culinary school is necessary to have a successful career in food, but I have always loved school. If there were more graduate school programs for food, then I would still be in school. So as soon as I got my degree I got my butt on a plane to NYC to attend the French Culinary Institute.
Why did you decide to take the leap from the corporate world to restaurants? All my corporate jobs have been tied to food. I spent most of my 8-year NYC career working in test kitchens for food magazines all the while dreaming of opening my own place. A few years ago, one of my former bosses took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity to run the kitchen in her cafe, Smith Canteen. It was the confidence boost I needed to eventually work towards starting my own business.
When did you decide to bet on yourself? I guess when I moved to NYC after college. I was pretty dependent on my family/friends up until that point. I never expected to stay there as long as I did.
When did you get your first bra? I was young. I think I got my period when I was nine and the boobs just appeared soon after.
When did you last have an uncomfortable / funny / embarrassing bra moment? Not embarrassing per se, but I definitely can look back at old photos from college and realize my ill-fitting bras were clearly visible through my clothes.
When did you first feel comfortable in your own skin? I’ve definitely found a newfound confidence in my 30s that I didn’t have in my 20s. I sort of just realized that I’ve already lived so much life, and sadly a lot of it was plagued in insecurity. When I hit 30 I was like, “I literally don’t have time to doubt myself anymore. This is what I am, and this is more than enough.”
Who would you invite to your ideal dinner party? Well right now I would kill to have all my best friends together again post-pandemic so I could cook for them. Also would not be mad if Padma Lakshmi was in attendance.