Meet the chef: Shari Haley

Sharí Haley

Sharí Haley

Title: Sous chef at Interim.

Age: 21.

Hometown: Memphis

Who or what was your first cooking influence? Both my grandmothers. I remember going on the weekends once a month to my memaw's house and we'd cook one dish every day for three days. And I did that until I was 17. She would always make lasagnas, casseroles, home cooking. Stuff like that. It was really good.

What was the first thing you ever cooked or baked? Probably Kraft mac and cheese.

What made you decide to become a chef, and when was that? When I got to high school, there was a culinary program at Bartlett (High School). Marsha Johnson did that. I got into it in my junior year. That was my first year. I always loved cooking. I was just gonna take it as fun. And I ended up really enjoying it. And when I was 16, I got the internship here. So I've been working here since I was 16. That's probably a month after we started. Jackson (Kramer) hired me. And once I started working here I was like, "OK, this is definitely what I want to do. This is what I love doing."

What was something important that a fellow chef taught you? Joe Cartwright, who's the chef at Spindini. He worked here for a little while. He taught me a lot when he worked here. He was always just telling me, "Don't be afraid to try anything new, different, outside of the box that nobody's done."

What do you cook or bake at home, if anything? Mac and cheese.

What's your favorite food? I love Mexican food. I'm constantly eating Mexican food. I love shrimp chimichangas. íThey're so good. At the Happy Mexican, they are the best.

What's your least favorite food? I hate truffle oil. I cannot stand truffle oil. Just the smell. And I don't like the way it tastes.

Interim Restaurant is at 5040 Sanderlin; (901) 818-0821

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