Compliments of the Chef with Christopher Thompson

Compliments of the Chef with Christopher Thompson

This week, Chefs Feed met up with renowned chef Thompson at his restaurant in the Marina.

December 6, 2013
CF: I'm best known for my _______ but I can make one hell of a _______. 
CT: salumi; bowl of ramen 

CF: Three words your sous chef would use to describe you. 
CT: Drink less coffee. 

CF: What are you most excited about right now in your restaurant? 
CT: We just started doing a new menu format that highlights our salumi and cured meats. Originally, we only offered large or small salumi plates, but now we're also breaking it down so you can have the option of ordering each different salumi by itself. These smaller orders come with accoutrements such as breadsticks, pickled artichokes, or shaved Grana Padano with arugula. This way, all the salumi dishes can be ordered as their own individually composed menu items. 

CF: Which chef would you drop everything to stage with? 
CT: Brian Polcyn. He's a highly acclaimed author, chef, and the American authority on meat curing. He's kind of old-school, which I like, and is just a really nice guy. He came into the restaurant the other day and when I met him, it was like showing someone what they've been teaching me to do for years. I actually told him this much. He's the one guy I feel like I could learn the most from in a single-day stage. He is very generous with his knowledge. 

CF: Message to professional food critics. 
CT: Let go of your personal attachment and come in being totally unbiased. I know it must be difficult, but I feel it's best to try and take your own personality out of the review completely. 

CF: One piece of advice for aspiring young chefs. 
CT: Think of your career as a ripening piece of fruit. Always stay a little green and continue to grow. Once you're ripe, you start to rot. 

CF: Secret off-the-menu item that your guests can order tonight. 
CT: We do a pizza here called the Widow Maker. It's comprised of garlic, pancetta, sausage, Grana Padano, fresh mozzarella, chili flakes as well as chili oil, and wild arugula. 

CF: Thick or thin patty? 
CT: I tend to like a thicker patty. 

CF: Favorite fro-yo combo? 
CT: Red velvet cake with French vanilla swirl. 

CF: Is there anything you don't like? 
CT: I don't like cooked salmon. If I'm going to eat it, I prefer it raw. I don't like how salmon develops that oily character when it's overcooked. The oiliness is complimentary when you eat it raw, but when it's overcooked it comes across as greasy. 

CF: What’s for family meal tonight? 
CT: Fennel and chili flake-crusted pork spare ribs that we butchered in-house just yesterday.