Compliments of the Chef with Duncan Biddulph

Compliments of the Chef with Duncan Biddulph

This week, Chefs Feed met up with renowned chef Biddulph at his soon-to-open restaurant, Kinmont, in Chicago's River North.

December 11, 2013
CF: I'm best known for my _______ style of cooking but I can make one hell of a _______. 
DB: simple farm-driven; spicy green papaya salad (You're not supposed to put sesame oil in it, but I do anyway and it's delicious.) 

CF: A few words your sous chef would use to describe you. 
DB: Funny, a great dancer, and a good teacher. 

CF: What are you most excited about right now in your restaurant? 
DB: The seafood program at soon-to-open Kinmont. We've got so many purveyors—from the local suppliers to our direct relationships with fishermen on all three coasts—so we'll be able to incorporate a real educational component to the dining experience. The menu at Kinmont will be changing constantly according to what is available from the fishermen, as well as what is available from the markets, farmers, and local artisans we will be sourcing from. You can expect to see the very best products available at the moment. 

CF: Which chef would you drop everything to stage with? 
DB: Eric Ripert, hands down. He's great. I've known people who have staged at Le Bernardin and they say it's by far the best stage they've ever had. Usually the stereotype is that three-star French kitchens make you do all these horrible things, but Le Bernardin breaks this stereotype for me. You're still picking herbs and washing micro greens, but I hear they let you taste stuff and they always demonstrate proper manners, which is really appealing to me. He's crazy handsome, too. 

CF: One piece of advice for aspiring young chefs. 
DB: Get to work early and check out what the sous chefs are doing. They are the ones who are going to help you move your career forward. Ask if you can help break down the fish or lend a hand with the orders. Sous chefs, they make the restaurant work. 

CF: Do you ever lose your sh-t in the kitchen? 
DB: No, I'm fairly calm. When I get angry, I just don't talk. 

CF: Is there anything you don't like? 
DB: Not that I know of, but I've never eaten sushi. I feel like it is just such an experience to be had. It's an art form, and I don't want to have it just anywhere. I'd really like to go to Masa so I'm holding out for that. I'm not going to go somewhere and get dragon rolls, you know? 

CF: Favorite ice cream flavor? 
DB: Mint chocolate chip. 

CF: What's your go-to shift drink? 
DB: A bottle of Dixie beer and an Old-Fashioned shot at Analogue, Logan Square's brand new bar from Violet Hour vets Robby and Henry. One aspect of their drink program is translating classic cocktails into shots, and I dig it.