A Look at Southern Chefs’ Resolutions

The Society of American Travel Writers’ 2013 annual convention is going to be in Biloxi, Mississippi, and at this point, I’m planning to go — persuaded by the food posssibilities. I have enjoyed the PBS series “The Mind of a Chef” hosted by Anthony Bourdain and featuring David Chang’s approaches to food. I recently received an electronic press release from SimonInk with New Year’s resolutions of Southern chefs from their client list. I’m not sure it is as deeply insightful as the PBS program, but does give glimpses. The South in this context includes anything south of the Mason-Dixon Line, including Washington, DC, which remained the capital of the Union and Maryland, but it’s a start for me:

  • Cory Bahr, Chef and Owner, Restaurant Cotton ( Monroe, LA). “To drink more bourbon. Shouldn’t be too hard!”
  • Regan Browell, Executive Chef, The Willcox (Aiken, SC).I’m a kiwi, but I live in the south. I can’t make fried chicken if my life depended on it. I even had an 85-year-old lady come in to teach me and yet it is still out of my grasp! So my New Year’s resolution is to conquer fried chicken!”
  • Chris Clime, Executive Chef, PassionFish (Reston, VA). “This year I hope to enjoy more of my newfound libation, tequila, and eat more caviar. Tough, I know, but I think I’ll manage.”
  • Andrew Evans, Chef and Owner, The BBQ Joint (Easton, MD) .”My New Year’s resolution is to get a serious style makeover. My daily ‘look’ consists of cargo pants, a BBQ Joint tee-shirt and a baseball cap. Hopefully I can retire these worn-out duds by 2013.”
  • Jeffery Ferrell, Sous Chef, Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel (Little Rock, AR). “There are too many past disappointments and failed resolutions in this category. I prefer to not build myself up with unreasonable goals, and just be myself. That has done pretty good for the past 30-some-odd years.”
  • Brett Gauthier, Executive Pastry Chef, Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group (New Orleans, LA). “To cut back on the sprinkles.”
  • Chris Jakubiec, Executive Chef, Plume at The Jefferson DC (Washington, DC). “I am going to be realistic this year and not make a serious resolution because I am getting married in 2013. I would say I better have all my resolutions resolved by the time I walk down the aisle.”
  • Austin Kirzner, Executive Chef, Red Fish Grill (New Orleans, LA).For my New Year’s resolution, I’m going on a diet, as I did very well on the company slim down contest. I know you’re not supposed to trust a skinny chef so I will have to have some of my before pictures handy to show.”
  • Brian McBride, Executive Chef, Brasserie Beck (Washington, DC). “To tell more jokes that actually make people laugh at the punch line. I may be too dry for some – but you won’t get that in my cooking.”
  • Jeremy Noffke, Executive Chef, Purple Parrot Café (Hattiesburg, MS).My New Year’s resolution for the millennium was to never make a New Year’s resolution again. I like to think I’m a man of my word, so I won’t be making another one this year. Maybe I’ll think about changing things up again if I’m around for the next millennium…”
  • Michael Scaffidi, Sommelier, Plume at The Jefferson DC (Washington, DC).I have the same one every year.  To gain 10 pounds by increasing my smelly cheese consumption and to drink wine more often.”
  • Alfredo Solis, Chef de Cuisine, Fuego Cocina y Tequileria (Arlington, VA, and part of the same group that owns PassionFish) . “This year, I hope to get fit—just like I say every year! I work right across the street from a fitness center, so every time I’m tempted to sneak a tortilla here and there, I will just look out the window. That seems easier than actually going to the gym!”
  • Robert St. John, New South Restaurant Group (the Hattiesburg, MS owner of the Purple Parrot and others).Hopefully this will be appreciated by all: don’t take life so seriously unless it involves helping another in need. But when giving, send some laughs with it as well.”

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