Chef Profiles

0

chezmike1016cp-copy Chef Mike Cohen
Chez Mike
596 Columbia Street, East Greenbush
479.4730; www.chezmikerestaurant.com
How long have you been a chef and what was your best training? My career started over 20 years ago, but I would say I have been “chef” for about the last 11 or 12 years. My best training was working at Seeger’s restaurant in Atlanta. Chef Seeger changed the whole way I see food. Although I don’t cook in that style anymore, many of his principles have stayed with me.  He has recently opened up in Manhattan, “Seeger’s NYC.” Check it out—good stuff.
We hear knives are the most important tool that you have in the kitchen.  Do you believe that is true and what are your favorites?  I have been using the same chef’s knife for 15 years. It’s the “Misono 9 inch.” Awesome— blade still comes back to a sharp edge, even after all this time.
What would you recommend for teaching a novice home cook who wants to be a great one? Well, for one, speaking of knives, SHARPEN THEM. Many home cooks spend a lot of money on great knives. A year later, they say, “I bought that great knife, but it can’t even cut.” It’s not the knife. All knives need to be sharpened time to time. You’d be surprised how much easier prepping your meals is with a sharp knife.
On your rare night off, what do you eat and where? I love sushi. I’m very proud to say that some of the best sushi in the Capital District is right here in East Greenbush. Nishiki—I’ve eaten there many, many times, and it’s always good. Very consistent.


townetavernChef Billy Schoonmaker

Towne Tavern
2850 New York 43, Averill Park
674.3040; www.thetownetavern.com
How long have you been a chef and what was your best training? I began working in kitchens 16-17 years ago, but I was always cooking my entire life. As for formal training, I have learned through experience over the years. I have worked in many types of restaurants, from simple pizza shops, seafood, steakhouses, to Jewish delicatessens.
We hear knives are the most important tool that you have in the kitchen. Do you believe that is true and what are your favorites?  Without a knife in the kitchen, I am nothing. That being said, I don’t use anything fancy or name brand. As long as it’s sharp, it’ll get the job done. I believe the most important tool in my kitchen is my staff. We are all part of the team and nothing would be done without them. We have a great crew of people who are always there and willing to help each other when in need. Everyone here has their own niche when it comes to creating specials so it really is a team effort.
What would you recommend for teaching a novice home cook who wants to be a great one? Begin by cooking from recipes to learn to master each technique; then start to explore with different flavors and textures.
On your rare night off, what do you eat and where? My nights off are usually spent with my loving girlfriend of 15 years and our four-year-old son, so dinner most of the time is something easy like pizza. Luckily we live in town with several other great businesses like Kay’s Pizza, Lakeview, AJ’s pizza, and, of course, The Towne Tavern.

lakeviewChef Scott LaRose
Lakeview on Crystal Lake
4 Old Route 66 (Route 43), Averill Park
674.3363; www.crystallakeview.com
How long have you been a chef and what was your best training? I’ve been cooking professionally for around 25 years and have found on-the-job training to be the best.
We hear knives are the most important tool that you have in the kitchen. Do you believe that is true and what are your favorites?  I believe knives are the most important tool in the kitchen, I own a Wusthof Chef Knife that really holds its edge. They are a little pricey but will last a lifetime. You definitely get what you pay for in knives.
What would you recommend for teaching a novice home cook who wants to be a great one? I would recommend making soups. It improves your knife skills, learning cooking times and how to properly season to taste.
On your rare night off, what do you eat and where? My wife does most of the cooking at home. She’s a great cook. When we do go out, we enjoy Lombardi’s and I love the Thai Chicken Salad at Panera for lunch.

jackson-chef-profileChef Harry Chavarria
Jackson’s Old Chatham House
646 Albany Turnpike, Old Chatham
794.7373; www.jacksonsoldchathamhouse.com
How long have you been a chef and what was your best training? Eight years. I think my best experience was working with good chefs and cooks. My best training was from Claudia’s Clam Bar.
We hear knives are the most important tool that you have in the kitchen.  Do you believe that is true and what are your favorites? Yes, I agree with that but you need to have a good pair of tongs.
What would you recommend for teaching a novice home cook who wants to be a great one? Cook with love and passion every time.
On your rare night off, what do you eat and where? I love seafood so I go to this restaurant: Purdy’s Farmer and the Fish.

View More: http://tiffanywayne.pass.us/olddaleySous Chef Jeremy Kane
Old Daley Catering
235.2656; www.olddaley.com
How long have you been a chef and what was your best training? I have worked for Old Daley Catering since 2009. I learned to cook when I was 15 years old and work in my mother’s restaurant MJ’s. I have been cooking professionally ever since.
We hear knives are the most important tool that you have in the kitchen. Do you believe that is true and what are your favorites? I would have to agree–knives are most important although I do not have a favorite brand – just a nice sharp chef knife.
What would you recommend for teaching a novice home cook that wants to be a great one? Binge watch Chopped, go to the farmers market and cook!!!
On your rare night off, what do you eat and where? Ironically I love pub food–and pizza.

greg-nesbit-photography-cornells_chef2-copyChef Mike Pietrocola
Cornell’s in Little Italy
39 North Jay Street, Schenectady
370.3825; www.cornellsrestaurant.com
How long have you been a chef and what was your best training? I’ve been a chef for 30+ years, an executive chef since 2008, restaurant owner for 12 years prior. My best training was working for Chef Danny Petrosino in the mid 80s.
We hear knives are the most important tool that you have in the kitchen.  Do you believe that is true and what are your favorites? Knives are the most important tool in the kitchen. I like an 8-inch chef’s knife because it can be used for many tasks. The second knife is a utility or boning knife. I own but 1 knife, an old Henckels 10-inch chef’s knife made of carbon steel, but I have used everything from a Cuisinart santoku chef’s to a Mac chef knife. Most important is learning to sharpen and keep sharp your favorite knife, because a dull is the most dangerous tool in your kitchen.
What would you recommend for teaching a novice home cook who wants to be a great one? Experiment, read, practice what you read, practice the basics so you can master them, don’t be afraid to try new flavors or types of cuisine. Maybe get a job in a restaurant. Even YouTube has great instructional videos (Ric Orlando).
On your rare night off, what do you eat and where? Tanpopo Ramen (Sake Café). David does a great job there and the service is some of the best in the Capital Region.

Share.

Leave A Reply