Meet the chef: St. John's, Meeting Place give Rebecca Barron a chance to be serious, playful with food

Executive chef Rebecca Barron slices vegetables at St. John's Restaurant, one of the two restaurants she oversees. She also is in charge of St. John's companion restaurant, The Meeting Place.
photo Executive chef Rebecca Barron at work in the kitchen at St. John's Restaurant.

Rebecca Barron, executive chef at St. John's and its companion restaurant, The Meeting Place, developed an early love for cooking, preparing meals for her family as a child in her home in Milwaukee, Wis.

"I learned how to make bechamel and roux from the Betty Crocker cookbook when I was 10," she recalls, adding that Julia Child made a huge impression on her about the same time. "She was probably my first major influence. And Anthony Bourdain's 'Kitchen Confidential' made me want to be a part of a kitchen family. Also I think I just loved eating so much that I had to figure out how to feed myself."