We (virtually) sat down with Black Star’s new head chef to find out a little more about him.
- What’s your earliest food memory?
Once while playing at my Grandparent’s driveway, I fell and scuffed my knees. I came into the house, crying, with blood running down my leg, looking for comfort and my mom had just pulled fresh
cinnamon rolls out of the oven. Trying to calm me down they offered me things like band-aides or water but instead I said through the tears, “A cinnamon roll would make my knee stop hurting.”
- Who has influenced your cooking the most?
Definitely my mother via her biggest influence which was her Grandmother.
- What’s your favorite go-to ingredient or is there an ingredient you use a lot that would surprise people?
Ginger. Most often, when friends or family really like something and can’t exactly place the flavor they like, it’s ginger.
- Do you have any signature dishes?
Scrambled eggs. 🙂
- If you could cook a meal for anyone, who would it be?
White House chef for Teddy Roosevelt
- Dumbest thing you’ve ever done with food or in a kitchen?
My first job in the kitchen (after deciding to change my career path and cook full time) was the opening prep-cook at the original Second Bar + Kitchen and it was my job to open in the morning and fry all of the chips for the day. My first day solo I forgot to close the drain
valves on the fryers before filling them with oil. I spent two hours soaking up oil with rags and never said a word to anyone. When Jason Stude arrived and asked why the floor was oily, I just put my head down and chopped zucchini.
- What would we find in your kitchen at home?
Cast iron skillets, and air fryer (trust me), and A LOT of pastry/cake decorating equipment. My girlfriend is an incredibly talented pastry chef.
- Most memorable meal?
I was lucky enough to travel abroad to Ecuador in my early twenties and went fishing with
some guys off the coast of the Galapagos Islands. I caught a Bluefin Tuna and the guys
from the boat came over that night and we built a fire in the street and everyone within
earshot came over and we carved that tuna to the bone cooking it over open fire, dousing it
with beer, even eating sashimi right off the fresh fish. Unforgettable experience.
- What food is your guilty pleasure?
- What been your pandemic staple meal or comfort food?
Knock-off Alamo Drafthouse popcorn paired with a movie from their streaming service.
- What do you do outside of work with your free time? (Or what do you imagine
yourself doing if pandemic restrictions weren’t in place?)
Tend to a small farm in Oak Hill that a friend owns, fishing, various tinkering projects,
- Any Last words as the new kitchen team leader of Black Star?
“When the going gets tough, the weird turn pro.” -Hunter S. Thompson