Tag Archives: Interview

From the Kitchen of: J.Paul’s and Old Glory

BUFFBATT_brooks_posterBUFFBATT_crenshaw_posterSpeaking of J.Paul’s and Old Glory and the Buffalo Battle taking place on Sunday, I was able to snag a few minutes of Chef Rich “The Pit Master” Brooks and Chef Tom “Big Wing” Crenshaw’s time to ask them the usual questions before things really heat up.

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
Crenshaw: Micro plane – I use it for everything, shaving cheeses, prosciutto, chocolate, you name it.
Brooks: A Mixer

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Crenshaw: Although some might hate me for saying this, molecular gastronomy. I think there is a place for it when it enhances the food but I think it is used too much for shock value these days. Sometimes searing, roasting, braising methods just have to be there to really make the dish.
Brooks: Pressure cooking

If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
Crenshaw: An open kitchen French bistro
Brooks: Surprisingly, a Pizza joint ….and I’d only offer take out.

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
Crenshaw: Any locally grown vegetable. You can’t beat the flavor of a vegetable right out of the ground.
Brooks: You can’t beat local vegetables…true southern bbq is served with fresh, local produce!

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
Crenshaw: When a guest is upset because the dish doesn’t look like something they made at home.
Brooks: When guests would prefer not to eat family style…its how bbq is really enjoyed, when you get to taste it all!

What do you drink/eat after work?
Crenshaw: Usually a cup of coffee or when it’s been a particularly rough day a Knob Creek Bourbon with one ice cube.
Brooks: Diet Coke and Chicken, lots of it.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
Crenshaw: It’s usually something simple. Most times I will marinate chicken thighs (they have a ton of flavor) with fresh thyme, garlic cloves and lemon. Pan sear them and deglaze with a bit of white wine and finish it with butter and fresh herbs. Plate them with some roasted fingerling potatoes, sliced tomatoes and whatever local vegetable I can get my hands on.
Brooks: Beer-can chicken (see recipe below)

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From the Kitchen of: Brian Robinson

brianIn case you haven’t caught on yet, I’m a total sucker when it comes to Southen food.  My husband keeps telling me he thinks I’m a Southerner stuck in a New Englander’s body.  3 Bar and Grill now has a great new menu filled with Southern specialties like hush puppies served with maple bourbon mustard dipping sauce, fried green tomatoes with goat cheese and Creole remoulade, oyster po’ boy served with lemon cayenne aioli and chips and fried chicken and waffles. Executive Chef Brian Robinson actually used to work at Georgia Brown’s so he knows what he’s doing when it comes to Southern cuisine!  We snagged a few minutes of his time to ask the usual questions.

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
Either the smoker or my new cheese knife.

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Filet Mignon is far and away the most overrated food, ever. Expensive, tender, but no real flavor.

If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
A seafood restaurant with Asian flavors.

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
Babes in the Woods, a small pig farm in southern Virginia. The pork is fantastic and Bill Jones, the pig farmer, is a great guy.

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
Using the menu as a shopping list to create their own dish.

What do you drink/eat after work?
If I don’t go out and get a beer, it’s Gatorade and hot dogs at home on the couch.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
A nice juicy steak seared in a cast iron skillet.

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From the Kitchen of: Klaus Fritsch

Chef Klaus Fritsch, co-founder of Morton’s steakhouses, is in town this week making a stop to whip up a few classics from “Morton’s The Cookbook” while signing copies of the book he’s co-authored with Tylor Field and Mary Goodbody.  klaus_fritschWe were able to snag a few minutes to ask the usual questions…

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
The basic wooden spoon.

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Infusion.

If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
At this point in the economic climate I would not dare open a restaurant – but in a better time, I would open a breakfast/lunch only spot – with the usual eggs and pancakes…

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
Allen Brothers Meats – they sell fine prime steaks!

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
It bothers me when things are disorderly or sloppy. The customers add to the atmosphere in the restaurant so I like it when everything runs smoothly.

What do you drink/eat after work?
I enjoy a good red wine or in the summer a cold beer….as far as eating after work, perhaps a small local ethnic restaurant – love Vietnamese food.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
I love to make beef chili (hand cut beef, NOT ground beef) especially on a cold fall day while watching football in the kitchen. The recipe is below.

Click here for Chef Fritsch’s recipe for chili!

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From the Kitchen of: Dennis Marron

Chef Dennis Marron of The Grille at Morrison House is taking to the streets.  Next Saturday he will take on a good ol’ fashioned physical challenge as he compete in the Marine Corps Marathon.  If you’re running too, Chef Marron will be serving a special Pre-Marathon Carb-Loading Dinner for $25 at The Grille at Morrison House on Saturday night.  Good luck to all runners!

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
I have two. My dehydrator and my over sized tweezers.  The dehydrator is fun but my tweezers; I simply can’t do anything without them.

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
I would never say any food or technique is overrated.  As a chef I feel the need to embrace all cooking techniques and styles.  If I am close-minded with my job, I wouldn’t leave much room for success and creativity.  I am constantly pushing my cooks to try new techniques (and old ones too), and to eat food that they don’t think they’ll normally like.

If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
I love the food I am producing now but if I were to step away from the world of fine dinning I would try my hand at a BBQ joint, Fish Fry at the Beach, a French Bistro, Tropical Asian cuisine or a Chop House.  As you can see, I love all types of food which is a good thing in my line of work.

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
Right now, I’m a huge fan of Virginia cheeses and I love anything from Meadow Creek Dairy.  I lived in the Midwest for a while so I know good cheese when I have it, and Virginia has really stepped up to the plate over the last few years.

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
I wish that customers were knowledgeable about their steak temperatures – it’s one thing I certainly work hard on through staff training as well.

What do you drink/eat after work?
It all depends on my mood.  Sometimes, I’m happy with a good beer and some lasagna.  And if I’m up for a late trip from Old Town, I’ll make the trek to Ben’s Chili Bowl.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
At home, I love to keep things simple and take my time preparing meals, so I’d have to say a roasted chicken or a comforting pot-au-feu.

Click below for Chef Marron’s recipe for Pot-Au-Feu…

Photo from Darko Zagar

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