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Q&A with Jennifer Dobbertin, Executive Chef and Owner, Best Quality Daughter

How long have you been in business or been in your role and what is the thing that gets you out of bed every day?

We are in our fourth year at Best Quality Daughter. My boyfriend works much earlier than me, so my mornings are some of the only time I have to myself before the restaurant starts buzzing. Alone time with myself and my dogs gets me out of bed every day.

When you were younger, did you ever see yourself doing what you do now?

In my 20s, I had a pipe dream of owning a restaurant, but it was more of an escapism daydream while working an office job. As a kid, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I grew up in a restaurant and so of course when I was a kid, I wanted nothing to do with it! I went to school to study nonprofit management and social work. 

What would you tell your younger self if you could spend 1 hour with her?

That it gets better, that she is loved, and anything that would boost her self-esteem. 

It can be difficult to pinpoint one single woman who inspired you in your life and career. When you step back and think about the multitude of women in your life, what would you say to those who have supported you and been a sounding board in your career?

Thank you. I have one specific woman who was my mentor in college and was the reason I wanted to get into social work before I got into restaurants. Her name is Sara, and she showed me what it meant to be a truly good human. We still visit each other, and I would tell her thank you for always being a light. She is the embodiment of kindness. 

Tell us about an ancestor or woman in your family whose story has been passed down to you. 

Honestly, I don’t have a lot of ancestral stories. My maternal grandmother grew up in a war, and it was never talked about. My paternal grandmother died when my father was young and way before I was born. There’s a lot of generational trauma not talked about.

What is your personal mission in life and how do you fold that into the work you do? 

I try my hardest to be kind and accountable. I am not always perfect at either, but if I find myself frustrated I try to account for my role in the matter and be accountable for myself. 

What is your superpower? 

I am resourceful and a great problem solver. 

From where do you draw your strength, creativity and stamina to keep going? 

My stamina comes from bills to pay! But I love food, and get my best inspiration when I have time to relax and eat with other people, and at other restaurants. I’m always inspired by what other chefs are doing. 

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