bites of bull city
Toriano Fredericks, co-owner/chef, Boricua Soul
Chefs at Home
BY AMBE R WATSON
e have a sense of what our local chefs are up to in the kitchens of our Durham restaurants, but what about when he or she is off the clock? I asked a handful of chefs to share beloved meals to make at home, the one ingredient they just can’t live without and what they like to grow or find fresh.
A M B E R WATSON
Thomas Card, executive chef,
I S T H E C RE ATOR A N D WRI T ER OF
Counting House at 21c Museum Hotel
T H E LO CA L DU R HAM
F O O D A N D R ESTAU R ANT N E WS B LO G,
B I T E S O F B ULL C I TY
( B I T E S O F B U LLCI TY. COM)
One of my favorite meals to make is what my mother called “goulash,” and others refer to as “American Chop Suey.” It’s penne pasta with red sauce, ground beef and a lot of cheese. I prefer mozzarella and Parmesan but have used pecorino and provolone as well. When I make this at home for the family, everyone gets a big bowl with some garlic bread, and we devour it until we can’t eat anymore. Along that same line, I always keep a wide variety of cheeses in our fridge as well as a variety of cured meats and salami for a midday snack or an easy, go-to breakfast. I like to help my mother with growing varieties of different foods in her garden – one of my favorites is sugar snap peas. I enjoy eating them raw, right off of the vine, because they’re so sweet and crunchy.
My favorite meal to cook is a handmade burger in the cast-iron skillet. We cook some bacon in the skillet first, and then cook the burger in the same hot skillet. Sometimes just seasoned with salt and pepper, or sometimes mixing a Lipton onion soup packet into the ground beef before cooking. Devin, our son, is a burger fanatic, so this always makes him happy. One ingredient I definitely can’t live without is garlic. When we first bought our home, we planted a small rosemary bush near the front door. I go out there all the time and snag some because it has so many uses: steaks, soups, meatloaf, etc. Jimmy Kim, proprietor/chef, Cucciolo Osteria
My favorite meal to make at home is fried rice. It’s the easiest and most convenient way to get rid of leftovers, and it is something I’ve made almost my entire life. … When I was about 8 years old, my brother and I used to make it every Sunday morning with rice, butter, kimchi and Tabasco, and eat it watching cartoons. These days, it is usually our lunch when we have leftover steaks from the night before: Just chop them up, add veggies, soy sauce, butter, and voila! The key is for the soy sauce to first touch the sizzling pan (rather than pouring it on the rice/ingredients) – it gives a deeper flavor. One ingredient that is always in my fridge is onion. You can put onion in anything! And my favorite fresh ingredient to use is kale – I just love kale. Matt Kelly, chef/owner, Saint James Seafood
My favorite meal to make is raclette, which is similar to the social aspect of eating fondue. It’s boiled potatoes and melted cheese. I first made it at Vin Rouge 18 years ago. It is great made with Chapel Hill Creamery’s Calvander cheese and served with cornichons and Dijon mustard. I make raclette in the fireplace at home all winter.
The Home & Garden Issue