Fair   39.0F  |  Forecast »

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Touch it. Experience it. Own it.

To enjoy the complete magazine experience click here to become a subscriber and have metroMAGAZINE mailed to your home every month for only $10 a year! (Use the PROMO CODE MMSUB_SPEC)

To enjoy the Digital Edition click here!


 
 

 

 

ROCKY ROCHA
magnolia hotel


WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU WANTED TO BECOME A CHEF? When I was 3 I would run around kitchens with my dad doing anything I could do to help. Once I turned 15 I applied at a restaurant where my dad was the kitchen manager. My dad didn’t want to hire me because he said once you get into the business it’s hard to get out. I talked the owner into hiring me.

HOW HAS THE ART OF COOKING CHANGED OVER THE PAST DECADE? Food has become this worldwide phenomenon. You see it all over T.V. and it’s really put chefs in a light that they have never really been in before. Chefs used to be looked at as peasants who stayed in the kitchen. Now chefs are looked at as rock stars, scientist and innovators in a way that Escoffier would have never imaged.

HOW HAVE RESTAURANT PATRON’S EXPECTATIONS CHANGED? I think over all guests are coming to the restaurant willing to try something different, new and exciting. As chefs we need to continue to push the envelope and make Omaha known for our food just as much as it is known for the College World Series.

 


 

BOBBY MEKINEY
vivace


WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU WANTED TO BECOME A CHEF? Ever since I set foot into my first kitchen at 14 years old that this buisiness and being a chef is what I was meant to do. I started as a grunt dishwasher and moved my way up to the line and when I would start to get bored with where I was working I would move on to the next restaurant so that I could keep learning.

WHAT IS THE MOST UNIQUE INGREDIENT THAT YOU HAVE EVERY USED? As far as challenging goes, it’s black chicken. It is so greasy. I don't think I would ever use it again.

HOW HAS THE ART OF COOKING CHANGED OVER THE PAST DECADE? The most impactful thing that has happened to cooking is the combination of food and science. New gastronomic techniques have brought food to a new place. Artistry is becoming as important as flavor.

 


 

VICTOR CABRIALES
bellevue medical center


WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU WANTED TO BECOME A CHEF? I realized this after being in the military and law enforcement for a few years. I missed the kitchen atmosphere. I returned to the kitchen full time in 2002. Now, I have no plans of exiting the kitchen (Foodservice) anytime soon, with high hopes of opening my own restaurant.

WHAT IS THE MOST UNIQUE INGREDIENT YOU’VE EVERY USED? The ingredients were sodium alginate seaweed, calcium chloride; I made sauce “caviar”, and many different “caviars.” I would use this again.

HOW HAVE RESTAURANT PATRON’S EXPECTATIONS CHANGED? I believe they have changed tremendously. I feel the patrons are seeking not just good food but great food along with great customer service.

HOW HAS THE ART OF COOKING CHANGED OVER THE PAST DECADE? In the past decade I feel that the art of cooking has added a lot of Culinology resulting in the advent of many new fun food applications.

 

 


 

CEDRIC FICHEPAIN
le voltaire


WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU WANTED TO BECOME A CHEF? I cooked my first New Year Dinner for 20 friends in France at the age of 16. It was a huge success and this event gave me the thrill of cooking. I had the chance to have my mother and my two grandmothers as gourmet cooks. When you grow up in the middle of food, it is impossible to get out of it.

WHAT IS THE MOST UNIQUE INGREDIENT YOU’VE EVERY USED? Bottarga, it’s cured roe fish eggs. I had it the first time when I lived in Italy. I did prepare shaved over freshly made tagliatelle. It was heaven. I would definitely use it again but for a special event or wine tasting.

HOW HAS THE ART OF COOKING CHANGED OVER THE PAST DECADE? Food has become more mainstream and almost like a circus in some ways. I do miss seeing simple dishes made with simple ingredients.

HOW HAVE RESTAURANT PATRON’S EXPECTATIONS CHANGED? Working in a restaurant, front and back of the house, should be mandatory for everybody during their education years even for a short amount of time. I am sure patrons will appreciate more the industry and its demand.

 


 

GLENN WHEELER
spencer’s for steak & chops


WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU WANTED TO BECOME A CHEF? I started helping my mother cook in the kitchen at the age of seven. I would watch French Chef (Julia Child) and want to try some of the recipes. My dad ran a floor care buisness and I used to go with him to restaurants and always found it interesting to talk to the chefs and cooks. At the age of fifteen I realized I wanted to become a chef and began my first kitchen job.

WHAT IS THE MOST UNIQUE INGREDIENT YOU’VE EVERY USED? Durian a stinky fruit from malaysia is my unique ingredient,I used it to make a custard,if you can get past the smell it, it was pretty good,I would make it again for the right audience.

HOW HAS THE ART OF COOKING CHANGED OVER THE PAST DECADE? With more modern techniques being used and the use of elevated cooking vessels lots of different tastes and textures are being achieved and used for enhanced creativity.

 


 

ENZO ZURLO
zurlo’s bistro italiano


WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU WANTED TO BECOME A CHEF? I grew up in the restaurant business since I was 10 years old, I always loved being around food, it was natural to me so I just stuck with what I love to do... cook & eat!

WHAT IS THE MOST UNIQUE INGREDIENT YOU’VE EVERY USED? My mom loves persimmons, I never really was into them until I got older. I made a mascarpone & vanilla gelato stuffed pear with a persimmon creme anglais, Ah! I forgot about that one, and yes I am definitely going to use it again (if anyone in Nebraska can find me any.)

HOW HAS THE ART OF COOKING CHANGED OVER THE PAST DECADE? The art of cooking is very unique, because anyone can add their own twist and make it their special dish. I dont think it has changed that much; I think people are just more aware of what goes on behind the scenes because of all the new TV shows, and some of the more exotic ingredients are more accessible today compared to years ago.

 


 

BETH ANDERSON
ica


WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU WANTED TO BECOME A CHEF? It wasn’t until I got into the college world and I noticed that I did not fit into the 250 person classroom (and I’d rather be home cooking for my family just so I could see their reactions) that I realized this was a path I wanted to choose. Once I joined the Culinary Competition Team it pushed me to go out and rock the culinary world.

WHAT IS THE MOST UNIQUE INGREDIENT YOU’VE EVERY USED? Quail egg. So delicate and still so awesome. Once I needed just the raw yolk to put on top of a tartar. Trying to get the whites off the yolk alone was a crazy delicate task. I went through a lot of quail eggs.

 


 

KELLY SCHWARZ
m’s pub


HOW HAVE RESTAURANT PATRON’S EXPECTATIONS CHANGED? I think people in this indusrty are more willing to try more adventurous things these days.

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU WANTED TO BECOME A CHEF? I was a bus boy, age 14, and was intrigued while watching the kitchen.

WHAT IS THE MOST UNIQUE INGREDIENT YOU’VE EVERY USED? Black garlic gastrique, compound butter.

 

 

-end- metroMAGAZINE

 

 

Add your comment: