Before the American food revolution…before Top Chef, MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen and Chopped…a young girl named Erin Salamon watched The French Chef, starring beloved culinary icon, Julia Child.
Salamon began working in professional kitchens early on. One of her first inspirations (outside of television) was Chef Shawn Monday, who inspired her to make sure she knew everything about food and flavors. She was trained on the hot lines and with the pastry chef so that she could claim there was nothing she couldn’t do in the kitchen.
Today, her love for all things culinary has transpired into a position as Executive Chef for The Medical Center of Plano, where she hopes to bring culinary diversity. “I hope to provide unique service styles and make the food have a few more healthy, flavorful twists,” she told Plano Profile. “Through all my traveling, I have learned how to make food that is robust and full of flavor and style, but preserving the natural integrity of what it is. I love to serve food that is comfortable to eat, but has a couple twists.”
Salamon has traveled and worked all over the U.S. for multiple properties of Discovery Land Co., which designs high-end, private golf club properties. After working for Discovery Land Co., she was the Executive Chef for Limited Brands or (Lbrands) in Columbus, Ohio for two years. “I had fun in Ohio, but a great friend of mine called and asked for me to come revitalize his golf club in Dallas. I was so excited to finally be a Texan.” Salamon was offered the Executive Sous Chef position and at Northwood Club in Dallas in 2013.
Salamon attended Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona in 2001. She worked for large and small restaurants, until a former teacher asked her to help set up a new private, high-end golf club in north Scottsdale, and she worked there for a few years embracing the opportunity to travel all over the country. “I was lucky, single and was willing to travel with my two dogs, so I took advantage of the amazing traveling opportunities,” she said. “I traveled to Hawaii to work at Kukio on the main island for about seven years. After that, I worked in Whitefish Montana, at Iron Horse. I also helped out at Gozzer Ranch, in Idaho at Madison Club in California. I then moved from Arizona to Cashiers, North Carolina at Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club. I worked there for a few years and traveled to Montana again to re-establish Yellowstone Club in Big Sky Montana. And my final place that I traveled to was in the Bahamas at Baker’s Bay in Guana Cay. I was there for three months and helped establish the food and staff training. All the adventures I was able to experience, has shaped my creativity in the kitchen. Each place I worked at has a whole different style, staff diversity and uniqueness that helped me understand all the different ways to cook.”
Currently, Salamon is wrapping up her Bachelor’s in Health and Wellness, with the focus on Nutrition, and she will be graduating next May with Honors. Her goal is to continue on to receive her Masters in Nutrition. “With my continuing education, I hope to establish a stronger nutritional program for the doctors, staff and guests that come to The Medical Center of Plano,” she said.
One way to accomplish this is to continue sourcing local vendors. “With the volume of service we provide through the café, private dining, room service and specialty caterings, we try very hard to use locally sourced produce when we can. We have great connections throughout the city with high-end meat companies, farm-raised produce and specialty items. Having seasonal, locally sourced food is another way to provide great food for the hospital.”