Today’s feature comes from Chef Blake Schumpert from Redwood in Bethesda. If you haven’t been – they’ve got a great happy hour and delicious flat bread!
What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
I have an amazing wood fired rotisserie grill and brick oven at Redwood which I love using to make rotisserie chicken salad, home made pizzas and other items for our menus.
What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Restaurants are so eager to list the farms where they source their ingredients on their menus to prove to customers that what they are serving is fresh, but shouldn’t that just be a given? At Redwood we are sourcing a number of our products from the Bethesda Central Farmers Market right outside our doors. You can’t get more local than that!
If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
C’est un secret!
What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
I love working with all the local farmers who participate in the Bethesda Central Farmers Market which is held Thursdays from 3 PM to 7 PM, just steps from my kitchen on Bethesda Row. Some of my favorites include Jamison Farm for lamb, Toigo Farms for fruit, and Stony Man Farms for cheese.
What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
I wish my customers would come to Redwood for lunch everyday as the “soup, sandwich, pasta and catch of the day” changes seven days a week so there is always something different to try!
What do you drink/eat after work?
I love a good Chablis after work, or noodles from some of my favorite spots in Chinatown.
What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
No recipe required as its simple really! On Sunday mornings I love to take a fresh toasted bagel and load on brandade (which is a puree of salt cod, olive oil and milk), tomato, shaved red onions, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve this with a large pot of coffee and you have the ultimate breakfast.