September '17 Magazines 89144 - Page 36

In the Kitchen You got a lot of help, but aren’t chefs pretty competitive with one another? “They absolutely are, but I’d say supporting other chefs and seeing them do well for themselves is greater. Thankfully we work in a culinary environment and city where there are so many specialties and world renowned chefs that you have the ability to spend time with and learn the way they carry out their operations. Without Chefs Dustin & Eric, I wouldn’t be where I am/who I am today. I’m thankful that I’ve worked in a company like the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group where that message really transcends.” How do you come up with ideas for new recipes and what’s your favorite? “For me it’s coming up with the main focus of the dish and It’s long hours and hard work. Why do you do it? building compliments around it to make the centerpiece really shine. That also applies to what’s seasonal. If you have the freshest product, one that perhaps just hit its peak, it’s really incredible to bring the flavors forward and have your guests completely enjoy it. The Brick Chicken Calabrese we have at Bar & Grill is my favorite dish to make here. We start with a 48-hour marinade of Calabrian chili- citrus-base. Once out of the marinade, we cook it on the 36 grill and it’s finished with chili paste. Then it goes onto a skillet to cook under a brick (yes an actual brick) for about 12 minutes give or take. Add vegetables–cippolini onion, cherry tomatoes–and there you have it! It’s really my favorite because, quite simply, it’s delicious!” “I love the constant being in motion, the rush and thrill I get when I’m on the line as well as visiting with our guests, some of whom I learn it’s their first time with us. But all in all I do this profession for my family; I mean this is my livelihood. Great neighborhood restaurant for locals, new faces to see in the door and, of course, my family that stops in for meals from time to time. It’s really my home away from home.” And your favorite bite? “I grew up in Maryland, and nothing is better than fresh seafood, but even better…Maryland crab sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning. Hands down it’s my favorite!” ◆