About Owner Nina Parrott
I have been involved in the food industry in various professional capacities for over 20 years, but have loved to cook and eat pretty much since birth.. My second grade teacher assigned us to write a restaurant review. Most everyone in the class chose McDonalds or Dion's (the local pizza place). I reviewed Comme Chez Vous, a bistro where you could get delcious escargot, and a pretty good rack of lamb.
I graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, and worked at various restaurants—first in my hometown of Albuquerque, NM—then at multiple restaurants in the Bay Area, including in the catering department of the Campton Place Hotel on Union Square. I worked in the Food Section of the San Francisco Chronicle as a writer, researcher and recipe-tester; and in the food marketing industry. But my favorite food-related job was as a cooking teacher at Francisco Middle School in San Francisco, where I exposed exotic ingredients and dishes (like octopus and paella) to children who may not have even baked cookies before.
The Fifth Flavor-- a personal chef and catering business— was born in San Francisco ten years ago. Then I moved it, along with my husband Eric and one year old baby boy, to the Boston area. Now, two more baby girls later, we are on the Seacoast of New Hampshire, surrounded by amazing local seafood, farms, artisans and relatives who can babysit.
I alway struggle when people about about my style of cooking, because I don't really know how to define it-- so I say, "San Francisco Cuisine", which means (to me) that I use classic European techniques, but borrow ingredients and flavors from all over the world.. I love to incorporate the bold spices of the southwest with the fresh, rustic style of California— now using local New England ingredients, of course.