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Paul Hyman, the chef at Bin on the Lake in Kirkland, grew up in one of the most exciting culinary cities in the world. You

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New Orleans Seasoned Chef Talks About What Makes The South Special

ChefHyman2.jpg
Paul Hyman, the chef at Bin on the Lake in Kirkland, grew up in one of the most exciting culinary cities in the world. You can see those Southern roots cropping up on his menu with dishes such as the Carlton Farms Confit Pork Cheeks with Cassoulet of Black Eye Peas, Pickled Peppers, Baby Turnip, Ham Hock and Salsa Verde. That's my kind of fusion!

He's been around since late last fall, but mostly under the radar. Because... you know... it's in Kirkland. (Sorry Eastsiders, but you know how Seattle diners can be when it comes to crossing the pond.) A series of dinners called Bin on the Move just might change that. Stay tuned.

SW: Can you please paint a picture of what makes the South such a special place for food?

Well, growing up in New Orleans exposed me to diverse foods and a unique melting pot of cuisine. We have such influences of styles including African, Spanish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, and a large Vietnamese population that has shaped my cooking.

How'd you learn to cook?

My grandfather a butcher was an amazing cook and teacher. I was also fortunate to work with really great chefs like Susan Spicer, Jamie Shannon and Todd English.

Do you remember the moment where you decided you had to become a chef?

Yes, I was about to graduate college cooking through school and realized that what I majored in wasn't what I wanted to do and what I was doing in cooking made me happy.

How'd you end up in Seattle?

My wife's job moved us from Boston to Portland and now Seattle. It's our last move because we love Seattle. We feel really at home here and our three boys have forbid us to move again.

What's the latest best seller on your menu?

The Maine Lobster with melted leeks, bacon and truffle mascarpone orzo, It's like a grown up version of mac and cheese with lobster and truffles.

If you're the one in charge of family meal for the staff, what would you make?

Berkshire pork headcheese, mustard, pickles and crusty Bread. I have an adventurous staff that like things like that.

Besides salt, pepper and olive oil, what are the three ingredients you could not cook without?

Butter, vinegar and herbs. Oh, and did I mention butter?

Check back for part two of this week's Grillaxin for more from chef Paul Hyman.

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