Blunt Inquiry - Dave McMillan


Chef & Partner

of

Joe  Beef, Liverpool House & Vin Papillon  - Montreal

 


What is your idea of a perfect restaurant?
L’Express is a perfect restaurant.  If I had to eat at only one restaurant for the rest of my life it would be L’Express.

What is your greatest fear at work?
That someone gets hurt.  That kids cut or burn themselves, that a customer becomes aggressive… when I’m not there, I fear for the safety of my people and guests.
 
Which working Chef do you most admire?
I admire the real work beasts.  I run three small restaurants with partners so I have it kinda easy, but a guy like Anthony Walsh and Laurent Tourondel, the guys that run multiple restaurants and turn out thousands of plates.  The pressure on their home lives as well as at work is just insane, takes a special beast. 
 
What part of work ‘you’ do you most deplore in yourself?
I have to put on a mask to go to work.  Or at least in the way of what the industry asks of us today as opposed to what it used to.  For me to put on my social mask and get out and speak to people is incredibly hard.  I’m an introvert in an industry where you need to be an extrovert.  I only want to manage, clean, cook food and listen to the radio.  The industry today demands that we socialize, and do all these dinners and events…  I wish I were more of an extrovert, I find the public really draining. 

What would instantly make you fire someone?
 Nobody gets fired for being a bad cook or a mediocre waiter.  People get fired for racism, drugs, sexism. I can train a mediocre cook.  But ignorance will get you fired immediately.  People have to be cool.. Poor hygiene will get you fired too.

What was your most extravagant purchase for your restaurant?
The trout pond.  Fred  built a trout pond in the garden that took a lot of time and energy.  Its   a temperature controlled trout pond that holds a couple hundred trout.  We are thrifty and frugal - we still cook with 2 six burner stoves and regular pots.  All the fancy equipment that’s out there now just turns everything into baby food.

What is your favourite food journey?
My most memorable is Cabane a Sucre, all the time.  I am unconditionally Martin Picard’s number one fan, and his partner Marc.  What they and Vincent and Emily do is more worthy than any 3 Michelin Star restaurant.  Martin should receive the Order of Quebec and the Order of Canada.  He is by far Canada’s most important chef and an artist of the highest order, possibly in history.  No one has done, or is doing what he is.  And so out of left field.  He is a Canadian legend and nowhere near celebrated enough.
 
What words or phrases do you most overuse at work?
VIP
 
What do you regret most after all your years in the business?
I have no regrets about my career.  I’ve had a good career.  The food that Fred and Marco and I cook has always been true French .  We have always stuck to 3 courses and cheese, always stuck to French bourgeois cooking - the French food that is appropriate for the great people of Montreal. Montreal has the best dining public in north America.
 
What do you love most about this industry?
I’m 45 years old now.  I’m not as enamoured with the industry as I was in my youth.  The industry is a career choice I made very young, I started at 16.  I love going to work. I love my friends at work.  My staff.  The way we work.  Everybody fits.  We have so many original staff from 11 years ago.  We don’t really socialize outside, we don’t have staff parties.. but I have long relationships with so many.  I have so many meaningful relationships with people that I work with.  They have helped me achieve my goal at Joe Beef and I try to help them as much as I can achieve theirs.  I have a love hate relationship with the restaurant industry in its current form.
 
What is your current state of mind?
I’m good.  It took us so many years to conquer anxiety.  Fred and I have both had issues with anxiety because we were so overworked for so many years.  To be free of intense anxiety is a good place to be.  But it comes back once in a while. I believe we may be happy somewhat.
 
If you could change anything about the restaurant industry where you are, what would it be?
Nothing.  It’s none of my business.  I mind my Ps and Qs.  I support my peers in whatever they want to do.  I have 3 restaurants to run and my staff to manage.  Whatever anyone else does is their own thing. I’m no one to criticize others.
 
What do you consider your most essential ingredient?
Protein

The work/life balance struggle is real.  How good of a juggler are you?  Tips?
I’m blessed to have great partners, Fred, Allison.  I’ve been working with Fred for 20+ years.  And Marco, my staff… Vanya is essential at maintaining Fred’s and my sanity.  She filters out who we should talk to – the firewalls we have put in place… We have made it really fucking hard to get to us for nonsense.  So we can focus on the food and wine, managing the things that matter.  The other demands that are put on our time, we are good at avoiding.  

What is your most treasured kitchen tool?
We like that big old smoker behind Joe Beef.  Fred built it 7 years go.  It’s an invention of Fred’s.  It’s like a hot cabinet, a hot slow cooker.  It’s a good machine, everything that comes out of that machine tastes real good.  And the Joe Beef garden as well.  It’s a great tool.  Instead of suppliers, I can get a radish from the earth to your plate in 3 seconds.  You can pick your own damn tomatoes and I can serve them to you seconds later with just sea salt.  If I make you a salad from the garden it’s an automatic win.

 What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Restaurant Plumbing.
 
When you finally retire, were will you live?
I’ll live in the Laurentians, trolling for lake trout.
 
What is your most marked characteristic?
I think I’m a good host.  A generous host from what I understand.  .
 
What is the quality you most like in a chef?
Humility and impeccable hygiene.
 
What is your greatest inspiration/motivation?
I think we all work for our kids. Fred has 3 beautiful children, I have 3 beautiful children.  The first part of our lives in the kitchen is hard, working towards our goal.  Now we realize how important family and kids are.  I love having babies and young children at Joe Beef.  A screaming baby in the dining room doesn’t bother me at all.   I wish people could bring their dogs.  Like when I was in the south of France and people were bringing giant mastiffs into restaurants, it was amazing. The whole point of what we do is eating and drinking and you should be able to enjoy that with your family…and your dog. 
 
Superman or Spiderman?
I don’t watch TV, and I have 3 girls so.. My Little Pony maybe.
 
What is the first thing you remember cooking?
Fear, anxiety, intense emotions.  I always worked for wacko French chefs early on.  So I got the screaming and throwing pans.  I only ever worked for eccentric characters.  I learned from them how not to be like them.
 
Beck or Clapton?
Garcia
 
You have to cook Escoffier’s death row meal.  Menu?
We still work form Escoffier now..
It’d be oysters, terrines mustard rabbits, Buttered noodles. Époisses cheese with toasted bread and eclairs .  
 
Favourite kitchen word or phrase?
Grease trap .


JOE BEEF
 

VIN PAPILLON
 

LIVERPOOL HOUSE

Blunt Inquiry - Connie DeSousa & John Jackson

Chefs/Owners of Charcut & Charbar , Calgary


What is your idea of a perfect restaurant? 
I don’t think that exists … Restaurants are not meant to be perfect. Our ideal experience is sharing delicious food with people that have amazing energy… John
I love to leave satisfied and with some lasting memories from the whole experience. It does not matter how casual or how upscale the restaurant is… A restaurant nails it when they have the right balance. Connie
 
What is your greatest fear at work? 
That I will get in shit from Connie about something I did wrong. John
 
Which working Chef do you most admire? 
Lynn Crawford…  she is a seriously bad ass chef but so kind and humble…. Connie
 
What part of work ‘you’ do you most deplore in yourself? 
That I am now slower then Connie at pretty much every task. John
 
What would instantly make you fire someone? 
Stealing … Connie
 
What was your most extravagant purchase for your restaurant? 
For CHARCUT I would say it was our two full size Rational ovens, which we love! For charbar we got the same ovens but the most extravagant purchase would have been adding a 150-person rooftop patio (The Rooftop Bar @ Simmons) on a 103-year-old history building. John
 
What is your favourite food journey? 
Our last trip to Edmonton was the most resent favourite food journey we have been on. The city is exploding with talent and amazing restaurants that have opened over the last few years. Connie
 
What words or phrases do you most overuse at work? 
Connie to the LINE… Where the hell did my tongs go? JOHN
 
What do you regret most after all your years in the business? 
Absolutely nothing! Connie
 
What do you love most about this industry? 
The sense of belonging and collaborations thought out our industry and with our peers. Connie
 
What is your current state of mind? 
I just got back from a run and am feeling really hungry for a big salad! Connie
 
If you could change anything about the restaurant industry where you are, what would it be? 
Create balance … I think Chefs like Kris Schlotzhauer in Toronto and Justin Leboe here in Calgary have started the work. We are following their lead and hope that it catches on with others. John
 
What do you consider your most essential ingredient? 
Positive energy … with out it food taste like garbage! John
 
The work/life balance struggle is real.  How good of a juggler are you?  Tips? 
It is a work in progress but I know we are getting close…  Connie
 
What is your most treasured kitchen tool? 
John … Connie
 
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? 
Lately it has been watching the news… John
 
When you finally retire, were will you live? 
Calgary … Connie & John
 
What is your most marked characteristic? 
My composure… like when deboning a pigs head in record time. Connie
 
What is the quality you most like in a chef? 
They are all so good-looking and strong…. Connie
 
What is your greatest inspiration/motivation? 
Our families and friends … Connie and John
 
Superman or Spiderman? 
Spiderman … John
 
What is the first thing you remember cooking? 
Deer sausage in my garage… I did grow up in Saskatchewan…. John
 
Beck or Clapton? 
Bad Brains… John
 
You have to cook Escoffier’s death row meal.  Menu? 
What is he doing there is the real question…Connie
 
Favourite kitchen word or phrase? 
“Hot Behind”… Thanks for that Blunt Roll … Connie
 
 
CHARCUT


CHARBAR

Blunt Inquiry - Rocco Agostino


Exec. Chef & Partner – The Libretto Restaurant Group


What is your idea of a perfect restaurant?
A loud, boisterous, fun environment with comforting food and lots of laughing.

What is your greatest fear at work?
Someone losing their fingertip – it’s happened to me.

Which working Chef do you most admire?
Chef Kris Schlotzhauer – this dude is really making a difference in the industry, and has stuck his neck out for his team; that’s something I really admire.

What part of work ‘you’ do you most deplore in yourself?
A potty mouth for sure (Don’t tell my wife!)

What would instantly make you fire someone?
Anyone who disrespects or threatens any member of my team is out the door.

What was your most extravagant purchase for your restaurant?
Our Pizza Ovens – shipping from Naples can get expensive….

What is your favourite food journey?
Every time I’m in Italy, I live for small family run shops in Rome and Naples, I always come home a few pounds heavier.

What words or phrases do you most overuse at work?
I like to stay connected with my team, but “Touch Base” might be something I say a little too much…

What do you regret most after all your years in the business?
I have no regrets.  Everything has led me to where I am today.

What do you love most about this industry?
Making mouths happy including my own.

What is your current state of mind?
Pizza, Pasta, Pizza, Pasta, Pizza, Pasta- did I mention Pizza?

If you could change anything about the restaurant industry where you are, what would it be?
Now more than ever with Toronto’s fast-growing food scene, I think it’s very important for new young talent to stay humble and know that you can never stop learning in this industry. 

What do you consider your most essential ingredient?
Flour, cheese and olive oil.

The work/life balance struggle is real.  How good of a juggler are you?  Tips?
It doesn’t feel like it’s a struggle when you enjoy what you do.  Surrounding yourself with people that understand your passion is important.

What is your most treasured kitchen tool?
Garlic Slicer, this is a tool that cannot be underestimated.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
86-ing basil.

When you finally retire, were will you live?
Somewhere warm – Costa Rica sounds good.

What is your most marked characteristic?
I always walk up to people, both FOH and BOH, and feed them spoonfuls of whatever I’m making or playing around with in the kitchen. 

What is the quality you most like in a chef?
The ability to think on your feet, innovation in problem solving is key.

What is your greatest inspiration/motivation?
My wonderful children #mightymia and #supersebastian, and the greatness that is Kara (my wife and rock). I can’t forget about the teams that make it all happen though, they inspire me everyday.

Superman or Spiderman?
Superman.

What is the first thing you remember cooking?
Cooking fresh pasta with my mother.

Beck or Clapton?
Clapton.

You have to cook Escoffier’s death row meal.  Menu?
Ha- easy! It would be a menu that spans the geography of Italy, from the south all the way to the north with my inspirational takes. – Or a death-by-lasagna meal, which is how I would want to go. 

Favourite kitchen word or phrase?
Yelling “Behind!!”  And then I giggle a little.

 

Pizza Libretto
A3 Napoli

Blunt Inquiry - Todd Perrin


Chef & owner Mallard Cottage – Quidi Vidi, Newfoundland


What is your idea of a perfect restaurant?
A beautiful space with good, honest food. A place where the people that work there and the customers are both having a great time. Every service would feel like your guests are coming to your house for dinner.

What is your greatest fear at work?
That we don’t deliver what we promise….
 
Which working Chef do you most admire?
So many…..I pretty much admire anybody that puts on an apron, picks up a knife and enters this life. There are easier ways to make a living and anyone who enters a pro kitchen and does it with good work ethic and honesty gets my admiration – commis, chef de partie, or exec. Chef – we are all just cooks
 
What part of work ‘you’ do you most deplore in yourself?
 Probably micro managing from time to time. Sometimes I lapse into “nobody can do it but me” – but that is never true. 

What would instantly make you fire someone?
 Laziness.

What was your most extravagant purchase for your restaurant?
Tough one! I don’t really see anything we’ve purchased as extravagant per se…..perhaps our collection of Le Creuset would be up there or our Paco Jet.
 
What is your favourite food journey?
Spent a couple of vacations in the Adriatic, sailing around Croatia. Just had amazing food and wine there…..still hoping to go back.
 
What words or phrases do you most overuse at work?
My crew will probably say, “Well, when I started……” – I can’t help regaling them with old war stories, but that’s natural when you have 20+ years on most of your crew
 
What do you regret most after all your years in the business?
Not a thing. Regrets are just the fuel to push you on to be better….I have lots of fuel, no regrets.
 
What do you love most about this industry?
The camaraderie, the conviviality, the fun, the buzz, the food, the wine, the people……what else is there….?
 
What is your current state of mind?
Is motivated satisfaction a thing……? Happy where I am, but striving to be better and to see what comes next.
 
If you could change anything about the restaurant industry where you are, what would it be?
The inequity of remuneration based on the tipping model that exists.
The tempering of the “customer is always right” philosophy…..because they are not always right and some customers  take advantage of that tradition. They need to be called out..
 
What do you consider your most essential ingredient?
Butter, salt and pork are neck and neck and neck.

The work/life balance struggle is real.  How good of a juggler are you?  Tips?
 Terrible and I have no tips. But I am accepting them.

What is your most treasured kitchen tool?
My Green River paring knife.
 
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Sitting in a pub with no beer.
 
When you finally retire, were will you live?
Hopefully where I live now….in my dream house, in my dream corner of perhaps the greatest city the world has ever seen – St. John’s! (Over the top?)
 
What is your most marked characteristic?
My desire to be a straight shooter, no bullshit talker. I try to tell it like it is at all times, or at least tell it as I see it…
 
What is the quality you most like in a chef?
Hard worker with a dose of humility.
 
What is your greatest inspiration/motivation?
Fear of failure.
 
Superman or Spiderman?
Spiderman.
 
What is the first thing you remember cooking?
Bacon and eggs.
 
Beck or Clapton?
Clapton
 
You have to cook Escoffier’s death row meal.  Menu?
I’d ask him what he wanted, but it better be pork of some description
 
Favourite kitchen word or phrase?
Oui!

Mallard Cottage

Blunt Inquiry - Derek Dammann

Chef & Owner of Maison Publique - Montreal

What is your idea of a perfect restaurant?
The kind where all of the equipment never breaks.

What is your greatest fear at work?
Having the repair man (usually fridge) say, I don't have the part in my truck, so I'm gonna have to go back to the shop. Then getting his bill.

Which working Chef do you most admire?
Phillip Viens, he just started his own company called Aliments Phillip Viens, where he is now producing the best charcuterie I've ever tried. And he's cute. 

What part of work ‘you’ do you most deplore in yourself?
I dwell on things. 

What would instantly make you fire someone?
I don't fire people, people fire themselves.

What was your most extravagant purchase for your restaurant?
My soft serve ice cream machine, but it's the gift that keeps on giving.

What is your favourite food journey?
I'm going to Japan in March, that's on the bucket list. 

What words or phrases do you most overuse at work?
Probably the word fuck, but mostly used as punctuation. 

What do you regret most after all your years in the business?
Regrets are just learning curves.

What do you love most about this industry?
All of the great people I've encountered over the years.

What is your current state of mind?
Pleased.

If you could change anything about the restaurant industry where you are, what would it be?
I think what Justin Leboe did by reducing the hours of his cooks is very noble. 

What do you consider your most essential ingredient?
Instagram.

The work/life balance struggle is real.  How good of a juggler are you?  Tips?
I’m not, and no.

What is your most treasured kitchen tool?
Weber charcoal grill filled with Kingsford briquettes. 

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Yelp.

When you finally retire, were will you live?
Parts unknown in a cabin on a lake.

What is your most marked characteristic?
Obviously my unbelievable sense of humor. 

What is the quality you most like in a chef?
Cleanliness.

What is your greatest inspiration/motivation?
The Boston Bruins.

Superman or Spiderman?
Matty Matheson is the only super hero I know. 

What is the first thing you remember cooking?
Pasta dough with my Nona. Professionally, it was tartare sauce. 

Beck or Clapton?
I only listen to two kinds of music, heavy and metal. 

You have to cook Escoffier’s death row meal.  Menu?
I would likely say no. 
 
Favourite kitchen word or phrase?
Did you taste this?


Derek Dammann’s new cookbook TRUE NORTH is now available.

Maison Publique

 

Blunt Inquiry - Anthony Rose

Chef and Co Owner of the Rose & Sons Empire - Toronto

What is your idea of a perfect restaurant?
Where everyone knows your name.  With a fireplace – but not for cooking, just for looking at, like a campfire so you don’t have to talk.

What is your greatest fear at work?
Cockroaches.  

Which working Chef do you most admire?
Jeremiah Tower.

What part of work ‘you’ do you most deplore in yourself?
I work too much.  I don’t spend enough time with my family and friends, and my son.. mostly my son.

What would instantly make you fire someone?
When staff treat other staff like shit.

What was your most extravagant purchase for your restaurant?
My Basquiat prints.

What is your favourite food journey?
Going to NY with my son.  It was so new with him – his eyes wide open.

What words or phrases do you most overuse at work?
I don’t think I overuse anything.  I think I’m perfect.

What do you regret most after all your years in the business?
I turned down a job at Chez Panisse.

What do you love most about this industry?
Its hard to say, I’ve never really done anything else.  I folded jeans once at Thrifty’s.  I love what I do now.

What is your current state of mind?
Distracted.  But I’m always like that.  

If you could change anything about the restaurant industry where you are, what would it be?
It’s the city.  I want the city to make it easier across the board to open a restaurant.  So many restrictions, so many hurdles.  

What do you consider your most essential ingredient?
Empathy.

The work/life balance struggle is real.  How good of a juggler are you?  Tips?
I’m not a good juggler.  I work every single day.  I was recently talking to my therapist about taking a day just for me.  I did it and it was awesome.  

What is your most treasured kitchen tool?
The lemon squeezy things.  They’re yellow.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Heartbreak.

When you finally retire, were will you live?
Barrie.

What is your most marked characteristic?
I’m a fantastic lover.

What is the quality you most like in a chef?
Honesty.

What is your greatest inspiration/motivation?
Simon. (Anthony’s son)

Superman or Spiderman?
Spiderman.. 

What is the first thing you remember cooking?
Grilled cheese.  The Kraft single grilled cheese, with challah and lots of butter.

Beck or Clapton?
Serge Gainsbourg

You have to cook Escoffier’s death row meal.  Menu?
Matzo ball soup, brisket, and lemon meringue pie.
 
Favourite kitchen word or phrase?
Don’t fuck it up.


Rose & Sons
Big Crow
Fat Pasha
Schmaltz
Rose & Sons Swan
Bar Begonia

Blunt Inquiry - Kyumin Hahn

Chef de cuisine at The Merchant Tavern - St. John's NL


What is your idea of a perfect restaurant?
Jeepers.  Something very small, without limits.  Maybe a restaurant that doesn’t totally have a set ethos.  That way we could change and do whatever the heck we wanted.  The base would be simple.  Organically grown vegetables and animals raised by ourselves.  This way we could have a sense of animal husbandry and control of quality.  Lots of natural wine, mostly magnums.
In Newfoundland we can serve wild game, moose, rabbits and partridge.  However we are not allowed to serve any migratory game birds – Canadian geese, snipe, ducks, turr.  I would have that changed immediately.  A perfectly roasted wild duck or snipe is something everyone needs to experience at least once in their life. 

What is your greatest fear at work?
Honestly, I think just any sort of severe injury involving staff.  Cuts/burns.

Which working Chef do you most admire?
Still Michael Stadtlander.  He is the best kind of crazy with the largest heart.  Michael continues to be one of Canada’s strongest leaders when it comes to sustainability and organic agriculture.  I feel most chefs take for granted the groundwork he paved for all of us Canadians.  Foodstock, Chef’s Congress, Singhampton project.  I would say half his charity work and donations are known, the other half he makes anonymously.

What part of work ‘you’ do you most deplore in yourself?
Chilling and Grilling.

What would instantly make you fire someone?
I’ve yet to actually have someone let go, or fired.  But for me it would be any sort of employee abuse, or any direct unhygienic practices..gross.  Someone using the washroom and neglecting to wash their hands.

What was your most extravagant purchase for your restaurant?
We recently purchased a charcuterie curing chamber from Stagionello.  This helps us keep precise measurements on temperature, humidity and P.H. for all our charcuterie and salumi.  Crucial for the beginning fermentation and curing process on all our meat s and even hot dog sausages.

What is your favourite food journey?
Definitely my first trip to San Sebastian.  Mugaritz, Arzak, Asador Etxebbari, all in one week.  You get there and immediately start eating all the most amazing pintxos all day.  Grilled fishes, and also very good beef, drink dry Cidre, gin & tonics and then surf in the hot sun to rebuild your appetite.  Tough life.

What words or phrases do you most overuse at work?
I had to ask the staff for this one, haha.  I know I always say groovy, or not groovy.  I think that’s better than saying something’s shit.  Probably I say that too anyway.

What do you regret most after all your years in the business?
Haha….. Umm, I’m trying to think I’m happy?  I’m going to try and not let this question ruin my being.  Haha.

What do you love most in about this industry?
It’s all about the camaraderie.  Restaurants are sometimes like big sports teams in that sense.  And as much as I love the creativity and general appreciation for good things, imagine not being able to share it with anyone.  I love being able to do so and we have a good time.

What is your current state of mind?
See below.

If you could change anything about the restaurant industry where you are, what would it be?
This is obvious, especially for St. John’s.  We have a lot of amazing ingredients which we are so grateful for.  It’s certainly what put us on the map.  But at the moment our service industry and support from the city is f&^%ing retarted.  We have no program for any sensible type of recycling.  Or composting.  I would say we spend 20% of our energy doing our own recycling and composting, driving it dialing to the dump outside of town or having a local farmer friend come and pick up the compost.  I can tell you not every restaurant is doing this.  For an island that primarily ships all it’s produce in, we are taking valuable renewable resources and turning it into toxic waste at our dumps.  Then people ship in chemically treated fertilizers to revivify the land.  It drives me mental.  Happily, I can say we are leading the fight to have this changed.

What do you consider your most essential ingredient?
Salt….  Is that a lame answer.  Chunky, who is right next to me finishing lunch service says love.  What a guy.

The work/life balance struggle is real.  How good of a juggler are you?  Tips?
Newfoundland has been my blessing.  I really love cooking…. But I love fishing more.  Newfoundland and Labrador have the greatest Atlantic Salmon fly fishing rivers in the world.  Sitting on a river with a bottle of white burgundy chilling next to you will cure anything.  I promise.

What is your most treasured kitchen tool?
Ya, I have this one knife which as a gift from my first chef.  Now it’s two inches shorter and the handle is starting to ware away.  I think it’s a good symbol as to how many onions we cut into squares.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Imagine a total collapse of the Atlantic salmon population.  This would mean no fishing.

When you finally retire, were will you live?
I’ve always known this.  Six months in Canada, catch the fishing season and beginning of hunting season, then to Australia’s south coast.  Surf, hunt, fish and drink natural wine.  Also, my partner Mia is from Australia.  I don’t know if life could be any better.

What is your most marked characteristic?
People say it’s my facial expression.  I can be pretty serious at times.  But at least this saves the sake of pointless conversation.

What is the quality you most like in a chef?
Leadership, efficiency and vision.  There is so much to learn from someone who is open and can lead a team.  Along with a strong vision, those are the kinds of chefs that will continue to propel this industry.

What is your greatest inspiration/motivation?
Friendships.  Life is just so good when you have great friends.  I would do anything for my friends and family.

Superman or Spiderman?
Lee Wulf.  The greatest fly fisherman of all time.

What is the first thing you remember cooking?
I think mustard potatoes.  My Mom is honestly such an insanely amazing cook.  She’s like a Korean encyclopedia.  When I was a kid I had no interests in making kimchi, I had the two best kimchi makers in the world, my Mom and grandma.  So I made mashed potatoes instead. 

Beck or Clapton?
Willie, Waylon, Ken, Johnny – all the original outlaws.  Sorry.

You have to cook Escoffier’s death row meal.  Menu?
I would probably cook what I would want to eat.  Probably a perfectly roasted piece of moose rib eye, with lots of fat and salt.  A very hot bowl of rice, Korean style.  Has to have some beans and mixture of whit and brown rice.  With the rice, all types of Korean banchan (these are typical Korean side dishes).  
And last, some type of kimchi and seafood soondubu Jjigae, still boiling in the pot.
No dessert needed.
 
Favourite kitchen word or phrase?
Our team started to coin this phrase at lunch,
“Fries in the sky.”
That’s the last stage for picking up a table, and for me it’s the first restaurant I’ve worked where we serve fries.  The fries are amazing.  But overall, I just find it fun and amusing.
This is best when you have on a white coat, white apron and paper hat.  Diner style.

 

The Merchant Tavern