Urbane's chef de cuisine Dan Gilmore's married to a pastry chef--they met in culinary school. And yet he's willing to go out on a limb and cop to not being a huge fan of the dark-brown stuff most of the rest of the world is addicted to. A real maverick!
We also like that he doesn't just talk that whole farm-to-table talk. He features some very cool farmers on his menu. We'll take the Mad Hatcher grilled chicken, please. Read part one of this week's Grillaxin Q&A for more.
SW: For dessert: chocolate cream pie or lemon meringue?
Gilmore: Lemon meringue . . . I don't really like chocolate. But fruit pies make me crazy. My wife is a pastry chef. . . she makes the best rhubarb pie!
How are professional kitchens different now than when you were just starting?
I don't know if it's the profession or the quality of kitchens or me being married with a child on the way. But I remember a lot less interest in cooking when I was starting out. Cooks seem more serious now, but with more preconceived ideas.
Beyond the kitchen, do you study food? Read books? What's been the most influential book you've read lately?
I read, talk to farmers, talk to chef friends, read menus, look in the grocery stores, and I have a habit of picking and tasting plants. Some don't taste very good . . . Good books . . . Au Pied de Cochon, anything by Michel Bras, Jerry Traunfeld's books, and Billy Joe Tatum's wild-food cookbook and field guide. I pick up each of these books at least a few times a week.
What do you cook at home?
Scrambled eggs with honey toast.
Any guilty pleasures?
I think I'm too old to be guilty. There's nothing guilty about them, but I sure do love sun-warmed, perfectly ripened peaches . . . the kind you have to lean over to eat.
If, say, 10 years down the road, you were going to open your own place, what kind of food would you do?
It would be very comfortable food. My wife and I have always wanted to do a pie shop . . . sweet and savory pies . . .
Check back for part three of Grillaxin for a recipe from Dan Gilmore.