Chef profiles

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Black and Blue Steak and Crab

1470 Western Avenue, Albany
www.blackandbluesteakandcrab.com; 313.7388

Jeff Tabakian, Chef
Q: What are the best compliments a guest can give you about your food or restaurant?
A: The best compliment guests can give me is that we at Black & Blue are the destination location for their special event. A party having our venue at the center of their special occasion is something to be proud of.  It’s so personal to have that effect on someone who might even be a stranger.
Q: What are your 2 least favorite tasks as a chef?
A:My least favorite task is, by far, the scheduling. Everyone wants to have a Friday or weekend night off. Cooks and chefs want to go on dates; it’s hard to expect everyone to want to work late every weekend. Also chopping soft herbs. No matter how long you’ve been at it, chopping 8 pounds of herbs for service is a long tedious workout. There’s just no where to improve your technique after a certain point.
Q: Is there a type of cuisine that you have not cooked and would like to try?
A:I haven’t cooked Indian food and love it. Their spices and flavor profiles are marvelous. I love everything about it and it’s just a mystery. Garam masala, real deep curries, the Nan flatbread. I would love to learn it I’ve even read about building a tandoori oven out of flower pots.
Q: Where in the world have you traveled to cook and if not, where is your destination of choice?
A:California, I think. The people out west eat the same things yet they put them together a little differently with more consideration on living a long healthy life. Wine is a plus, too. I would love to spend some time in wine vineyards.
Old Daley Catering

www.olddaley.com; 235.2656

“Three Heads Are Better Than One”: Jeffrey Michael, Thomas John (TJ) Keary, Jeremy Kane, Executive Chefs
Q: What is the best compliment a guest can say about your food?
Jeffrey Michael: For me it’s simply when a guest says, “that was the best food we’ve ever had; you made our night.” It doesn’t get any better than that.
Q: Is there a type of cuisine that you’ve not cooked, but want to try?
A:TJ: I’ve dabbled in Sous-vide, but would like to perfect it.
Jeremy: Experimenting in curing meats.
Jeffrey: Molecular Gastronomy
Q:Where would you like to travel for cooking?
A:Collectively: Italy, Spain, France, China, Thailand
Q: What is your least favorite task in the kitchen?
A:Unanimously: Shucking oysters and clams along with cleaning shrimp.
All three of the chefs at Old Daley Custom Catering are accomplished professionals in their fields. They bring passion and a genuine care for people, the menus they create and the items they serve. Collectively, they achieve a higher level of production and proficiency, complementing each others’ talents and abilities. Catering is a team effort with everyone harmonizing their part in conjunction with the goals we all share. Their experience and diversity offer a unique flavor that complements the tastes of the clients we serve in the Capital Region. We’re proud to have them as part of the Old Daley Catering Family and look forward to the wonderful things we’ll create together in the future.
Lake Ridge Restaurant

35 Burlington Avenue, Round Lake
www.Lake-Ridge.com; 899.6000

Scott Ringwood, Executive Chef / Owner
Q: What are the best compliments a guest can give you about your food or restaurant?
A:That our guest chose my restaurant and that their meal, service and overall dining experience exceeded their expectations. There is also great satisfaction when customers personally seek me out to compliment my staff; you can’t do this alone and they are awesome.
Q: What are your 2 least favorite tasks as a chef?
A:Paperwork and writing down the recipes, I would rather have a knife in my hand than a pen. It fits better; I have big hands!
Q: Is there a type of cuisine that you have not cooked and would like to try?
A:No, because if there is a cuisine that you or I have not cooked, there is a recipe out there that one can find and learn to cook the dish. With the internet at our finger tips, we can do the research on the history behind the cuisine. I think that makes us better at executing any recipe.
Q: Where in the world have you traveled to cook and if not, where is your destination of choice?
A:Although I am proud and very happy with my career choice of chef/restaurateur, I have no real desire to cook elsewhere. I do have the desire to travel and explore all aspects of food worldwide but, at this point in life, it is wonderful to be enjoying another chef’s expertise while I continue to grow as a chef.
Chez Mike

596 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush
www.chezmikerestaurant.com; 479.4730

Mike Cohen, Chef/Owner
Q: What is the best compliment a guest can say about your food?
A: For me personally, there are two compliments that always give me a great sense of pride. One is: “Have been here many times, and never disappointed.” Being consistent means that everyone is doing their job, and keeping our standards up all the time. The other is: “Your staff always looks like they truly enjoy their job.” Keeping my employees happy is a very high propriety for me.
Q: What are your 2 least favorite tasks as a chef?
A:Simple: Cleaning the grease trap, (yes, I still do it). And office work; emails, bills, payroll. I’m much more comfortable physically cooking; its more gratifying for me.
Q: Is there a type of cuisine that you’ve not cooked, but want to try?
A:Sushi! On occasion, I will make sushi-style appetizers and things, but I wish I would have spent time with a sushi chef to truly get the feel of it. It’s also one of my favorite things to eat.
Q: Where would you like to travel for cooking?
A:My destination of choice, would be Lyon, France; no question about it. That’s where a lot of what we do comes from.
Towne Tavern

2850 NY 43 and 66, Averill Park
www.thetownetavern.com; 674.3040

Pat Quinlan, Chef
Q: What are the best compliments a guest can give you about your food or restaurant?
A:The best compliment that guests can give is that they will return to the restaurant because they enjoyed the food so much.
Q: What are your 2 least favorite tasks as a chef?
A:My two least favorite tasks as a Chef are baking and cooking bacon.
Q: Is there a type of cuisine that you have not cooked and would like to try?
A:I would like to try cooking Asian cuisine.
Q: Where in the world have you traveled to cook and if not, where is your destination of choice?
When I started cooking, I always wanted to be on a cruise ship.

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