Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pimento Cheese, Heavy Metal and Learning to Salt Your Food: A Q&A with Brian Moxey of Pastaria

Posted By on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Page 3 of 3

The most essential ingredient in your kitchen? Salt. Gotta have it. Fresh vegetables and fruit and all that stuff taste good, but if you're going to cook it, there's got to be a salt aspect there.

An ingredient you'll never allow in your kitchen? That's a hard one. I'm open to a lot. I'm not big on tripe, but I have had it and enjoyed it, so I'm not going to say I'm against it.

What music is playing in your kitchen? [I ask this question knowing from following Moxey on Twitter that he loves heavy metal, and he's already nodding because he knows I know this] I love heavy meatal -- love heavy metal - but Billy Joel has its time in place. I listen to a lot of different stuff.

Blanket answer definitely has to be metal, though.

Favorite cookbook? Cooking by Hand by Paul Bertolli is amazing. Right now I'm really big into Sara Jenkins' cookbook, Olives & Oranges.

Any advice or a favorite tip for the home cook? You probably need more salt in your water whether you're cooking pasta or blanching vegetables. When I go home and cook for family members, they're like, "You're putting that much salt in it?" Just calm down. Then they taste it and they're like, "Wow! This is great!"

Favorite kitchen tool? Chef's knife.

Most useless kitchen tool? Any single-use item, like a corn zipper comes to mind. It's like a vegetable peeler for taking corn kernels off.

What's the strangest or most memorable thing that's ever happened to you at a restaurant? We were at Insieme [in New York City]. We had a guy staging for the day. He had a 22-quart container of melted duck fat. And we're like, "Just put it in the ice bath."

And he was like, "The ice bath over there?"

"Yeah just put it in the ice bath."

And he said, "Straight in?"

We're like, "Straight in. Can't believe we're still having this conversation."

And he walked over and dumped the 22-quart container into the ice bath. That was one of those moments you're just standing there, like, "What the fuck just happened?"

He disappeared after that. He was like, "I gotta use the bathroom," and then he went and got his shoes and left.

This is part two of Gut Check's Chef's Choice profile of Brian Moxey of Pastaria. Read part one, a profile of Moxey, here. Part three, a recipe from Moxey, will be published on Thursday.

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