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Chef John Fout interview

Discussion in 'Life on the Edge' started by MotoMike, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. I would be interested to that too
  2. PierreRodrigue

    PierreRodrigue Tactical Walrus Founding Member

    Very cool read guys! Thanks for sharing John, not every day in a knife forum, do we hear about something not centered on knives or knife materials. Thanks for taking the time to do this. Thanks Mike for putting it together.
  3. John Fout

    John Fout Founding Member

    I'll come out and talk if I have time. That is the kicker! A lot of places I've made it a point to go out and do some table touches and talk up the tables. I always give credit where credit is do and say one my line cooks did the real work. Likewise if someone tips the chef and say their steak was the best ever that tip goes to the broiler guy. He did the work. Now if it is a tip to the kitchen everyone gets it but me ;)
  4. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

    Good to know! I bet that doesn't happen often, the tips to the kitchen. Unless it's a fancy place. I can't imagine it happens very often at TGI Fridays.

    Do you have a chefs table at your restaurant?
    If not ever worked anywhere that did?
  5. John Fout

    John Fout Founding Member

    I have not had a chef's table anywhere I've worked. They have always been on the drawing board but the space is better utilized for other things.
  6. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

    Gotcha. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and participate in the interview!
  7. John Fout

    John Fout Founding Member

    No problem.
  8. Jay

    Jay No soup for you Founding Member

    This was, without question, the best interview I ever read on any site.
  9. MotoMike

    MotoMike Founding Member

    thanks Jay. John made it easy.
  10. When we first started out in the cookware business (1991), my husband regularly asked if we could see the kitchen when we dined in a nice restaurant. We were curious about what real chefs really used in the way of knives, pots and pans, etc. Invariably the head chef would stop work and chat. I always got the impression it didn't happen much, so the kitchen staff always felt a bit proud to show off their workspace and their work. I don't recall every being told "no" when we asked if we could peak into their kitchen.

    My second favorite kitchen visit was Charlie Trotters in Chicago (in 1996). A spare-no-expense setup that was actually three kitchens: one regular kitchen, one just for their breads and one just for desserts. The bread and desserts kitchens were in the basement of the old house they had turned into a restaurant. Our waiter was the one who gave us the grand tour. He said they realized early on that they needed better control of the heat and humidity to make good bread and pastry. So, the basement was the only place left to add two more kitchen areas. The pastry kitchen was throughly depressing and you did feel like you were in a basement. The desserts, however, were divine.

    The all time favorite has to be The Inn at Little Washington, Little Washington, Virginian(in 2002). Chef/owner Patrick O'Connell stopped work, humbly introduced himself and proceeded to spend twenty minutes chatting and showing us around the kitchen and their garden. One large wall of the kitchen is a window that looks out into their garden.

    My observation has always been that we are more likely to see the chef out chatting with patrons in a chef owned restaurants, but rarely in the corporate world. Our chef John is an exception.
  11. John Fout

    John Fout Founding Member

    Thanks Jay! Mike asked great questions and I just rambled on. :)
    My name may not be on the door (heck it isn't on my coat...) but my name goes on the food I'm in charge of. Patrons often ask who is working in the kitchen that night. Things shouldn't taste any differently but sadly they do.

    We don't get too many people come back into our kitchen. We get a lot of people wanting to come back and pick out their steak. We are happy to oblige. We do have large windows that let you see into the kitchen on the server doors. Some booths have a great view of the broiler but if you walk up you can see in. A sister restaurant has a complete see-in kitchen where the kitchen and dining room is divided by glass.
  12. Crothcipt

    Crothcipt Founding Member

    +1 to the Kitchen Confidential reference. Great write up, looking forward to reading more.

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