Category Archives: Chef Q&A

Interviews with area chefs done in a Q&A style.

Chef Q&A: Chef Harold Baker at Gary’s on Spring

Chef Harold Baker has worked in top-notch kitchens since he was a 16-year-old dishwasher at the International Market Square in Minneapolis. The Louisville native’s past employers include the Piedmont Driving Club in Atlanta, Chateau Elan Winery and Resort in Braselton, Georgia, and, locally, the Galt House and the Westport General Store. Five years ago, the 50-year-old chef opened Gary’s on Spring, 204 S. Spring Street with his childhood friend Guy Sutcliffe. At Gary’s, Baker is still very much a hands-on chef. “I am in the kitchen every day the restaurant is open,” he said. “The sauté line is set up so that 70 percent of the dishes flow through me. I set the speed and rhythm of the line. It’s hardcore, but that’s the only way I know how to work.”
Continue reading Chef Q&A: Chef Harold Baker at Gary’s on Spring

Chef Q&A: Adam Burress and Chase Mucerino

Adam Burress and Chase Mucerino have literally grown up together in the Louisville restaurant scene. The two chefs met in the culinary program at Sullivan University. Chef Jayson Llewellyn tapped them to work with him at both BLU Italian Grille in the Louisville Marriott Downtown and Jeff Ruby’s Louisville. Burress and Mucerino then ran the kitchen for Chef Anthony Lamas at Seviche before starting their first restaurant, Hammerheads, in 2010. A second restaurant, Game, followed in 2012. In October 2015, Burress and Mucerino opened their latest establishment, Migo. The two chefs sat down with Food & Dining to discuss their partnership, running three successful restaurants and the importance of getting away from it on occasion.

Continue reading Chef Q&A: Adam Burress and Chase Mucerino

Chef Q&A — Logan Sandoval

[Originally published in the F&D Fall 2015 issue]

Logan Sandoval doesn’t look like your average chef. For one thing, he looks more like he should be running a Gold’s Gym than a kitchen. Sandoval began lifting weights in high school in Los Angeles, where he was on the wrestling team, and it is still a daily ritual. The other thing that stands out about him are his tattoos, which are a homage to his chosen profession. The main image is an octopus holding a chef’s knife and a lantern with “restaurant” written on it in Japanese. The Octopus is also wearing a traditional Japanese cooking bandana. Other images on his arms include a Chinese wok and two cocks fighting, one with a chef’s knife. The inside of his arm reads, “Cook free or die.”

Continue reading Chef Q&A — Logan Sandoval

Chef Q&A — Dustin Stagger

Dustin Staggers did not come into the restaurant business in the ordinary way. Staggers, 33, didn’t start out as a dishwasher and work his way to the top, as a lot of chefs do. Nor is he a culinary school grad. The first time the Tampa native stepped into a commercial kitchen was back in 2011 as the executive chef at the now-defunct 60 West Bistro & Martini Bar in St. Matthews. After a short stint at the Monkey Wrench, he opened the New Orleans-inspired Roux in the Highlands with his brother Kyle and fellow chef Griffin Paulin in October 2014. The Asian-influenced Rumplings came along the following month and, in May, the trio will open another restaurant, America. The Diner. Food & Dining sat down with Staggers to find out why he opened three restaurants in less than a year and how he finds the energy to operate them all. Continue reading Chef Q&A — Dustin Stagger

Chef Q&A: The Oakroom’s Patrick Roney

Patrick Roney spent 10 years working as a private chef on yachts. He moved to Louisville two and a half years ago with one goal in mind – to work at the Oakroom, Louisville’s only AAA Five Diamond restaurant. But even Roney thought it would take more than a few months to land at the restaurant in the Seelbach Hilton Louisville.

“My wife’s family is from the area and we’ve eaten our way through most of the restaurants in Louisville,” Roney explains. “I always admired the Oakroom. I worked at Avalon for about four months when I heard that the Oakroom needed a Chef De Cuisine. Even I am amazed at how quickly it happened.”

Roney talked to Food & Dining only days after the Oakroom was recertified. Each year AAA reviews nearly 30,000 restaurants, but just 0.2 percent make the Five Diamond list. Roney was understandably happy that the Oakroom made the cut again. Continue reading Chef Q&A: The Oakroom’s Patrick Roney

Q&A: Chef Josh Moore of Volare

Josh Moore grows his own—produce, that is, on a 10-acre farm near Taylorsville. When the fruits and vegetables are ripe, they end up plated at Volare, where Moore is executive chef and partner.

Outside the garden, he pursues an eclectic batch of activities, from power lifting to creating sugar art. These days he’s also renovating his 110-year-old farmhouse. The kitchen was the first room done. “I put in a commercial Vulcan six-burner, double oven range with a two-foot griddle-broiler combo,” he says, smiling. “It’s beautiful.” Continue reading Q&A: Chef Josh Moore of Volare