After graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, Tiffany MacIsaac whipped up sweets at Union Square Café, ILO and Allen & Delancey in New York before she and her husband, Chef Kyle Bailey moved to D.C. to open Birch & Barley. This year, MacIsaac is a semifinalist for the James Beard Award’s Outstanding Pastry Chef and today, we turn the tables and grill the chef.
What’s in your fridge or freezer that would surprise people?
Our fridge/freezer is pretty empty. That actually might be the most surprising thing about being a chef — that we hardly keep any food in the house. In our freezer, we have a tray for every shape of ice cube: squares, rectangles, spheres, etc. We make a lot of cocktails at home so we like lots of ice options. And we have a million types of mustard. Nothing to put these mustards on, but every time we see a cool mustard we just need to buy it.
Last meal you cooked for yourself?
Enchiladas! I roasted a chicken for them and ate half the chicken while I was cooking. There is just nothing better than a perfectly roasted chicken.
Last meal on earth?
I think I’d go with every crudo Kyle has ever made. I love raw fish, and he’s done so many dishes I love over the years: char tartare with yuzu and sesame, hamachi with squash and cranberries, scallops with blood orange and pink peppercorn. I can remember them all. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
Which six people — alive or dead — would you choose to attend your ultimate dinner party? What would you serve?
Soooooo hard to choose! Will Ferrell, Alton Brown, Joan Rivers, Anthony Bourdain, Tina Fey and my hubby, Kyle, of course. We’d have a barbecue because I think I’d be so entertained it would be hard to focus on making something fancy. Also, I’ll bet Will Ferrell could house a burger!
What non-food-related things do you do for fun?
Wait, there are non-food related things to do? I had no idea.
If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
Japan or Thailand. Of course, if I can get a three-day weekend to Baltimore, I’ll take it.
What’s on your DVR?
Workaholics, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Fashion Police and Black Swan, which we’ll probably never watch but has somehow been on our DVR for like two years.