TRY AND KEEP UP.
Pace Webb is cooking with gas.
Drawing on her experiences in the L.A. food industry and world travel, Pace runs one of the most sought-after catering companies in Los Angeles.
Her motto, “Love people and cook them tasty food,” has proven to be a winning combo, with a focus on farmers' market-fresh produce and creative use of ethically sourced proteins. It doesn't hurt that she delivers a knock-out presentation. Her dishes end up as food fodder of guests.
Nothing is going to slow her down.
Find out more about the biz owner below.
Name: Pace Webb
Instagram Handle: @tasteofpace
Where do your drive and passion come from?
My parents are both artists, so I'm guessing growing up with artistic inspiration and freedom plays a huge part in that. My drive is very competitive, and we can't quite figure out where that came from. That's just as an individual separate from any other outside influence, I suppose.
You are a chef and lifestyle expert. Do you think that women who want to succeed have to have their hand in more than one cookie jar?
I have a Salted Cooking Kit in over 600 grocery stores nationwide (warm quinoa salad for two like Blue Apron but w/o the subscription or excessive packaging). I'm launching a chef-driven fast-casual concept (follow us at @daddyschickenshack), which is completely different from my current brand, Taste of Pace. And I have another mass distribution recipe deal in the works. And the most fun I have is the few times a year I get tapped to create online content for major brands!
I absolutely 1000% believe that anyone should have multiple streams of revenue so that you're always secure when one may temporarily be under-performing. The dream is free, the hustle is sold separately.
Why did you choose to run a catering company instead of opening a restaurant?
It's somewhat easier to start a catering company and it's not something I just woke up and decided to do one day, it just happened organically, like most good things that are meant to be. There is so much change in the economics of the restaurant industry that I would not open a new dining establishment at this point, but I would absolutely open a fast-casual concept. I could write a lengthy dissertation on this topic!
What's been the hardest learning curve to lean into as you grow?
To separate emotion from business. Since I'm an artist and so tightly tied to my craft it's been challenging to separate business performance from my value as an artist. For example, when business is going really well, I feel validated and the opposite when it's challenging.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Disorganization at work. I literally have it tattooed on my are "Mise En Place" is a French kitchen term that means "put in place". It's a concept that chefs obsess over and it applies to all areas of life as well. (I like to be more carefree in my personal life.)
What are your biggest fears about running a business?
That one day is just won't work anymore. It's a really odd fear, but I think it's not uncommon. I talk to plenty of high-level execs who have been in their respective industries forever and still feel like a fraud at times, like "they're gonna nd me out!" But most of the time I feel like we are crushing it and making awesome stuff happen.
What's something you'd like people to know about your job that they probably don’t?
Cooking is made to look so glamorous and it is so far from that! The finished product is gorgeous, but the work that goes into it is not so.
IYO-- How can we stay original when we are so saturated with other people's work?
Boy, that is a tough one for any artist who is engaged in commerce. It's easy to jump on a bandwagon of what someone else is doing that is working or a new trend that is popular, but if it isn't a truly authentic creation from the source, it won't be a lasting success. Sometimes I get inspiration from IG and other times it's too "noisy" for my creativity. The best way to stay original for me is to get back to the basics of cooking. It may be a common menu we've always done, but there can always be new innovation that comes from a tiny bit of something leftover that we want to use in a dish so as not to waste if that can become a new signature dish (this happens often) or if an ingredient isn't available you have to think fast and use something else and it evolves the creation. There is something really powerful about the action of simply doing something to help with creativity. I also really enjoy (most of the time) the wacky requests we get- my favorites have been for an "all purple" menu for Sephora and for creating shapes of the Italian furniture designer, Gufram, like cacti and lip-shaped pasta. I like to push the limits of my comfort zone so that I am rewarded by deepening my craft. It is greatly satisfying! I am also a fan of "creative cross-training". This means to engage in other creative activities that are not your main medium. For me, this is dancing, painting, photography, seeing visual art and plays. The idea is that the other art forms will inspire your medium.
What about your career makes you feel the most complete?
The fact that I choose my career every day and that I'm passionate about it. Not many people can say that and I've sacrificed some things for that, but it doesn't actually feel like work most of the time.
If you had to trade jobs with anyone else in the world, who would it be and why?
You know that saying, the grass is always greener? Well, I still believe that to be true and I'm pretty good about leading the life I want to lead and re-directing when it isn't going that way. But damn, @gypsea_lust (IG) sure does look good!
At what point in your career did you find the confidence to really take charge and become the woman you are today?
I don't think there was an actual point. I was always outspoken and bossy. A woman with a plan! (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)
What's the best advice you've ever been given? Or your favorite piece of #realtalk?
Productivity equals morale. When you are at your lowest and things are really hard, just keep doing something. Anything. Don't just stop and lay around no matter how much you want to. Keep people close to you who will hold you to this.
Don't just stop and lay around no matter how much you want to. Keep people close to you who will hold you to this.
When you hit a big bump in the road, how do you find a new road or a detour?
Well, the definition of insanity is to do the same thing and expect different results, so when I hit a bump in a road, I go OK, what are we going to do that is different this time? And you just keep trying different things until you don't hit that bump anymore.
What song do you sing in the shower when you’ve had a bad day?
Well, truth be told one of my life hacks is a salt bath every night, so I'm not a shower person. I'm a sing in the car person! It's probably something very soulful and disco like "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer. That era is my jam.
Photo Credit: @davisfactor