In anticipation of our working with Diane Moua every day, all the time, we thought it would be fun to sit down and really get to know the women behind the apron. What we found might surprise you … no question a too small, silly or insignificant, here, nope.
Us: If you could eat anywhere, where would that be?
DM: Thailand and Laos with my entire family. This is still a goal when we can travel again.
Us: Window or aisle:
DM: Window. I love to see what’s out there.
Us: Do you have a pet?
Dm: Yes, Bubbles the Chihuahua and Molasses the black angus calf.
Us: Did you say calf?
Dm: Yes, my parents gifted me a cow to keep all the spirits at bay. Hmong tradition/belief that animals are connected to spirits, good and bad.
Us: Do you think of yourself as a Pastry Celeb?
DM: No, I’m human and I make desserts for a living. I love seeing people happy.
Us: What has been the secret to your success?
DM: I was brought up to be tough and to always strive to be better than you are currently – In the kitchen, as a leader and as a human. This industry is tough. I have survived and thrived because of my parents and the culture I was raised in. We just put our heads down and get the work done.
Us: Do you have any pet peeves?
DM: Momma Moua always said, your hands should be moving as fast as your mouth is!
Us: favorite movie?
DM: I have two; Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Pretty Woman
Us: Favorite piece of coaching advice for your team?
DM: Don’t Suck!
Us: What is the strangest thing in your refrigerator?
DM: Fermented crab. It’s salted.
Us: Is that good in a croissant?
DM: Don’t know. Maybe we should try?!!
Us: What’s for dinner tonight?
DM: Organic Bok choy and pork belly
Us: What’s for dessert?
DM: Ice Cream!, I love ice cream. No chunks unless it’s caramel
Us: Favorite Childhood food?
DM: The mashed potatoes and gravy at the Old Country Buffet + the ice cream cone on our way out!
Us: What are you most excited about in your new role directing the Bellecour Bakery at Cooks?
DM: No offense to anyone, but working with all females … plus Karl. Ha! Looking forward to one focus vs multiple restaurants and building a work life balance culture for me and the entire team to excel in.
Us: What’s the craziest thing Karl has ever asked you to create?
DM: He has a lot of crazy ideas, but the most current is the Epi- Hotdog for our summer menu. (Laughs.) I kind of like it!
Us: First memory of pastry?
DM: Walking through Byerly’s. I couldn’t believe it. A carpeted supermarket! The case full of cakes and pastries were amazing. I was mesmerized. It was really something for a young farm girl from Wisconsin to experience.
Us: Where did your work ethic come from?
DM: My Mom and Dad. They work hard, still! Full time jobs, plus farming and farmers markets on the weekends. It was tough love all the way too. They taught all of us (3 brothers and 2 sisters) that if we wanted something we had to work hard for it. And if we don’t get it, work harder and never give up.