Chefs in Profile

On the weekend of September 21st through the 24th, there will be a food festival in Greenville, SC.  It’s the 12th annual Euphoria celebration.  The Kid and I will attend.

To get us all in the mood, I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview and get to know some very talented chefs who will be cooking at Euphoria.

First up is Chef Scott Crawford of Raleigh.

Chef Scott Crawford

In addition to five years as executive chef at the Umstead Hotel and Spa, Chef Scott ran the kitchen at the groundbreaking Standard Foods and Grocery.  Last year in the Oakwood neighborhood in Raleigh, he introduced Crawford and Son, a love letter to sustainable Southern cuisine.

A champion of folks working hospitality, he founded the Raleigh chapter of Ben’s Friends, a support group for people in the industry with substance abuse and addiction issues.

All three chefs got a very similar set of 15 questions.  I believe the compare/contrast helps us to get to know and understand them a bit better.

What follows is Chef’s questions and answers; verbatim.1.) For your tomato sandwich: Duke’s, Hellmann’s or homemade? What kind of bread? DUKES! Fresh milk bread…still warm.

2.) What is your “Can’t wait to get your hands on” seasonal ingredient, and what’s your favorite treatment? Apples! I love how many different apples are grown in North Carolina. Some of my favorite treatments that happen every year: Bacon-Apple Marmalade, Vanilla Apple Pickles, Sherry-Apple Date Butter, Green Apple Granita

3.) What is your guilty pleasure? Cookie Butter!

4.) What do you make when you get home from the Crawford & Son and it’s late, and you’re hungry? I make huge, fresh vegetable salads with olive oil, and lots of vinegar and crunchy salt.

Every chef has the tools they can’t live without.  This is Julia Child’s famous peg boards with some of her “can’t-live-withouts”.

5.) What five tools can you not live without? Japanese Utility Knife, Mini Offset Spatula, Sharpie, Peeler, Pepper Mill. In a professional kitchen, these are the must haves.

6.) What five ingredients can you not cook without? Salt, Pepper, Vinegar, Olive Oil, Sugar. I can make anything taste good with these ingredients.

7.) What is one dish that a novice cook should learn for entertaining that’s easy, impressive, and inexpensive? (Any recipe you care to share will be highly appreciated) Soup! No one makes good soup anymore.

Just eat around the stones…

8.) What in the culinary world angers or disappoints you? As an industry, we still haven’t figured out how to truly take care of our own. That upsets me. I don’t have all the answers yet but I won’t rest until we can do better.

9.) What in the culinary world pleases you and gives you hope for the future? The culinary world welcomes all types and gives us an outlet for creative energy. It also offers an intensity not found in other creative jobs. It’s addictive.

10.) What’s your birthday dinner? Anything…as long as it’s with my family. 😊

11.) What do you take on a picnic? We love to go hiking and find a relaxing spot to sit and eat pastries from a local bakery called Boulted Bread.

Big fan of Boulted as well.  And yes, they grind their own, right in the bakery.

12.) What food trend or ingredient are you totally and completely over? Liquid Nitrogen.

13.) What is the best way for passionate but not affluent people to enjoy fine dining?   Tour their favorite food city lunching and brunching. Lower price point but equal excitement.

A cornu-freaking-copia every single visit.

14.) Favorite local farmers market and vendor? Ronnie Moore’s here at Raleigh Farmers Market.

15.) What is one thing about you that nobody would ever guess? At one point in my life, I lived in my car. 😳Thanks for your time.


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