Compliments of the Chef with Brandon Jew

This week, Chefs Feed met up with renowned chef Jew.

December 6, 2013 ● 2 min read

CF: I'm best known for my _______ but I can make one hell of a _______. 
BJ: charcuterie program; wedge salad 

CF: A few words your sous chef would use to describe you. 
BJ: Fair and full of integrity. 

CF: What are you most excited about right now in your career? 
BJ: Preparing for my new Chinese restaurant and being ready right out of the gate. I'm really happy with the direction we took with Bar Agricole, and I'm grateful for the experiences I've had while working there. I couldn't have left and gone into this next venture without feeling as confident as I do now from everything I've learned. 

CF: Which chef would you drop everything to stage with? 
BJ: Susur Lee. He's doing stuff with Chinese food that's the most forward-thinking. 

CF: What's your dining philosophy? 
BJ: I like the idea of eating as a community, where people have fun and enjoy each other's company. I want to share things, feed people, pass things around, and interact with diners. To me, it's not all about what's on the table, but rather what's around it. Food brings people together, so please enjoy yourselves. 

CF: Message to professional food critics. 
BJ: I think critics have a hard time differentiating between "consistent" restaurants and sustainable restaurants. Consistent restaurants are just popping the same dishes out of a bag, but it's an unnatural process and often stale. When you sign up for organics or whole-animal butchery, you're doing the right thing by taking on the responsibility of respecting the animal and the earth, although it makes cooking in a restaurant harder. Many chefs are headed in this direction, but they risk serving inconsistent food—something critics frown on—because the produce is constantly changing. These processes of getting food from the farm to your table seem to get lost in translation in restaurant reviews. 

CF: One piece of advice for aspiring young chefs. 
BJ: Have a blue-collar mentality. It's hard work, both physically and mentally, and you're not going to be paid much. Do it because you feel like you can't do anything else. It's still trippy to me that I get paid to cook since I love doing it so much. It's nice to know you can make people happy by doing what you love. 

CF: Ribs or brisket? 
BJ: That's hard, but I think I'd have to go with ribs. I like to eat around the bones. 

CF: What's your favorite froyo combination? 
BJ: I only like tart froyo, but I like to top it with mochi, Oreos, and blueberries.