Spotlight On: Hannah Brantley, Food & Wine and Business & Technology Director copy

February 15, 2021

Hannah headshot adjusted for web

What does the art of cooking mean to you?

One of the things I love about cooking is that it takes something very utilitarian and quotidian—i.e., eating—and turns it into a sensory experience that can be equally as inspiring as other forms of art such as painting and film. Cooking involves composing complementary—and sometimes surprising—elements, similar to the way a pianist composes different notes to create a song or the way a painter combines different colors to create a painting.

Cooking is essentially taking things that exist independently of one another and putting them together to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

What are some of the ideas that you wish to make happen for the cooking and business departments at CCAE?

For the cooking department, I am excited about incorporating classes that touch on historical and contemporary issues and making the program more interdisciplinary. For example, we are introducing a class on food writing that will be cross listed in both the cooking department and the writing department.

For the business and technology department, I am hoping to provide more classes to educate and support small business owners, such as classes on SEO, social media, and making smart financial decisions as a small business owner.

Is there a chef or specific cuisine that best represents who you are and why?

I am endlessly fascinated by Nordic cuisine, particularly their use of fermentation. There is a restaurant in the Faroe Islands, called Koks, run by chef Poul Andrias Ziska, that I find incredibly inspiring. However, if I had to choose a food that I swoon over for its sheer craveability, it would be Ma Po Tofu or some sort of soupy Chinese noodle dish with an unreasonable amount of sichuan pepper.

What is your favorite food in the entire world and why?

Bread. It never ceases to amaze me that three ingredients can create something so magical and versatile.