Erica Tucker

Pastry Chef

Hometown: Festus, Missouri

Family Members: Lewis Tucker (son)

What past work history prepared you for Cordillera Ranch?

I feel that working in the culinary industry for 14 years now has helped me prepare for all the obstacles that come my way and learn to adapt in every situation.

What do you like most about working at Cordillera Ranch? 

I would say my favorite part is having the ability to be creative with the dessert menu and being able to change it three times a year. This gives members new options often.

What has been your most rewarding professional experience?

Learning from one of the best chefs I can work for. Chef Isaac Cantu at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch is truly a great chef to work for. He allows me to be creative and unique with all of my desserts and gets me the product I need.

What has been your greatest professional challenge?

In all honesty, I don’t face many challenges here, besides not 

repeating desserts every year. I have a great work-life balance and maintain my stress very well. (It’s just desserts as I like to say.) If I do have challenges, I have a great team to help.

What inspired you to pursue work in this field?

Well, I always wanted to be a wedding cake designer, so I enrolled in culinary school. I realized there was minimal baking and pastry classes and so I decided to learn how to cook as well. I fell in love with it and worked at a couple of Italian restaurants. Then coming here, I wanted to go to the pastry side of things.

Do you have a favorite dessert?

My favorite would be vanilla bean crème brûlée.

What’s the funniest thing to happen to you at the Ranch?

Summer of 2023 — I entered the pool’s watermelon eating contest for employees. Well, I wanted to win and I tried to eat two of the three slices together. I forgot to swallow the first couple of bites and then took a third bite. Long story short, I lost the contest. 

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Dependable, Loyal and Organized

What do you do in your free time?

My free time is mostly spent being a chauffeur and cheerleader for my son’s sports. He is in about everything so going to practices and games takes most of my time. 

What motivates you to succeed?

I would say my son, Lewis, motivates me to keep pushing forward. He is my rock and showing him that I can be a single mother and work hard is the best feeling and lesson I can give him. Teaching him to be strong-willed and not ever give up is the goal. 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a marine biologist. Growing up in Missouri, I would never have thought I would live by the ocean, so I went to culinary school and then moved towards the ocean. I’m glad I didn’t choose that, due to being afraid of what lives in the ocean.

What is your favorite season, and why?

I love both fall and winter (in Missouri). The crisp of the air changing and the colors of the leaves are just beautiful. I love the cold. Living in the woods and walking down the road being completely covered in white is amazing.

Anything that would surprise others about yourself?

Honestly, I don’t like eating desserts. I only like a few items and I’ll try a bite.

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