Sophia Hampton Skins Chicken Breasts

It’s a coup for any writer to be published in Bon Appétit. Every month, over 1.5 million readers eat up the excellent photos and mouth-watering photos in the food and entertainment magazine.

It’s especially impressive for a writer who has not yet graduated from college.

But that’s what Sophia Hampton did this month.

Her piece — “The More Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts I Sell, the Worse I Feel” — explored her feelings as a butcher at New York’s Hudson & Charles, about the “shapeless blobs (that) are a staple of the American diet.”

Besides working as a whole animal butcher and writer, Sophia is a New York-based farmer. She also graduates — today! — from New York University, where she studied the relationship between healthy soil and healthy people.

And — explaining the connection between chicken breasts, 10003 and 06880 — she is a graduate of Staples High School’s Class of 2015.

Sophia Hampton, naturally.

“Sophia was an extraordinary student of mine, a tremendously dedicated volunteer with the Gillespie Center food program, and a very active participant in our Culinary Arts Club,” says Staples culinary instructor Cecily Gans.

“She had infectious curiosity and enthusiasm about every aspect of the kitchen, and always challenged herself to create something incredible, in taste and aesthetic.”

Sophia interned at prestigious Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills during college.

Earlier at Staples, Gans notes, she found internships and worked in all aspects of the industry.

“Sophia was intrigued by where our food comes from, from the earth it was grown in, to the fire that it was cooked over, before it finds its plate. My college recommendation for her practically wrote itself.

Sophia Hampton — a whole animal butcher — spends time learning about all the animals she works with.

“She had always talked about a professional ‘mash-up’ (before the term even existed) of her passion for all things culinary, with writing, journalism, and the politics and science of food.

“That’s all coming to fruition now. I know this article is just the beginning of what we hear and see from her. ”

Kim Herzog taught Sophia in AP Literature. She calls her “fantastic — as a reader, writer, speaker, listener and critical thinker.

“Being published in Bon Appétit while still in college is a tremendously big deal. It is the highest echelon in the food world, and publishes the strongest voices in the field.”

Herzog says that Sophia’s piece as a “powerful, researched argument filled with her voice – one that I believe will continue to progress in the food world.”

Bon appétit indeed!

(To read Sophia Hampton’s full story, click here.)

While at Staples High School, Sophia Hampton volunteered to serve food at the Gillespie Center.

4 responses to “Sophia Hampton Skins Chicken Breasts

  1. This is a wonderful and inspiring story. I am always so thrilled to read about young people pursuing their passion full throttle . Bravo, Sofia!

  2. Joanne Heller

    What an insightful article Sophia has written. I thinking my husband and I buck the norm as he only eats chicken legs and thighs while I eat the chicken breasts. It is much more likely that I’m buying my chicken with the bone in, as that’s how we typically eat it. I’m not sure I’ll give up the boneless breasts, but this article has given me a reason to consider cutting back on buying them.

  3. Mary Cookman Schmerker

    Dear Sophia, Thank you. You have made me rethink my shopping list and my cooking habits. Here I am so smug that I would never buy a package of snack apples all cut up or carrots sliced thin in a vegetable tray but thought nothing of purchasing the Chicken Breasts. Thank you. Wonderful article. Congratulations on your graduation and career choice and the publication of your article.

  4. Jeffrey Wieser

    Chef Gans and her Culinary Arts Class have been an inspiration at The Gillespie Center – on the second Friday of every month – for years. Thanks to her, to Sophia and to all the students who volunteer their skills! And as Do Bacharach once – only somewhat jokingly – told me: “I love to serve here because the Gillespie residents are more grateful than my family ever was!!”