A Year's Worth of Advice, Kitchen Disasters, and Burns from Dallas Chefs and Restauranteurs

Categories: Interviews

Danyele McPherson 2.jpg
Danyele McPherson of The Grape
Throughout last year, we took time to talk to a good number of chefs in Dallas who willingly imparted advice on cooking, management and burning. Following is a highlight reel from some of the city's finest.

Last spring we asked a few chefs for advice for recent culinary school grads...

Danyele McPherson, The Grape
"Shut up. Listen to all your new coworkers and watch what everyone does. The more you can learn and do quickly, the faster you will rise through the ranks."

Boulevardier's chef Nathan Tate:
"Keep your mouth shut and eyes open for at least the first six months at a new job. I really don't want to hear about your molecular experiments with sodium alginate until you can properly sear a piece of fish."

Chef Brian Luscher of The Grape
"Don't bitch, whine, complain or gripe about how much you have to work, how little you're getting paid, or how the servers are all ungrateful dickbags. Just put your head down and work. You've got a long career ahead of you, being a turd in the punchbowl will not make it any easier."

Chef Omar Flores of Driftwood
In another series, we asked chefs some burning questions that included literally the worst things they've burned...
Omar Flores of Driftwood
"I burn myself on a regular basis. A few years back I was working a banquet for like 40 people. I was in charge of the meat, which happened to be four whole prime tenderloins. Long story short, by the time I pulled them out, no sauce could save those puppies. Needless to say, it was a bad night."

Marc Cassel of 20 Feet Seafood Joint
"I have fucked up my share of foie gras, expensive meats and fish. The worst is something that took a lot of prep time before going into the oven, then carbonizing it."

Chef Jonathon Erdeljac of Jonathon's Oak Cliff on worst kitchen disasters...
"Busy Saturday brunch, and of course my new line cook walks, so it's just me, two dishwashers, a full restaurant, a full rail of tickets, an hour wait for food. And my mom standing in front of me asking what she can do to help. Epic fail!"

Kenny Mills of Chop House Burgers and Steaks in Arlington
"Since I like dry-aged beef, I'm no stranger to mold in a fridge, but several years ago we were soaking a cow's head in a pot to make tamales and everyone thought everyone else took care of it. When we did find it and pulled it from its murky water it was NOT pretty."

Medical Advice from Chef April Barney of DISD:
What's this about super glue and cuts?
"Last week a guy in our kitchen [at Trinity Groves] cut his hand really bad, but we still needed him. So we got it to where it wasn't bleeding so profusely and super-glued it and put electrical tape around it."

And it worked?
"Yes, super glue is basically what hospitals use. I like to use electrical tape too because it's waterproof and when you pull it off, it doesn't pull your hair out of your skin."

How did you figure that out?
"It happened by accident. One day I cut my finger and didn't have a band-aid, but had to keep working. I had electrical tape and I tried it. Sure enough, it worked. I'm sold now. It's all I use."

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The advice about shutting up at work, to just be observant and learn is great advice for any industry.

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