Ever wonder who cooked your entrée? Explained your charcuterie board? Showed you to your seat? We thought we’d start a new blog series that couples my sure to be lackluster interview skills with the interesting and talented folks that work at Chinched. The cooks, for example, don’t always get an opportunity to personally interact with the customers, so perhaps this series can provide an avenue from which to get to know them a bit (other than the food they cook, of course.) And the front-end staff? I’ll ask them the hard-hitting questions such as “what’s your favorite color?” and “what did you have for breakfast?”
The first staff files subject is Barry.
Favorite football team: Green Bay Packers
Hobby: Playing Cribbage in the shed
What Michelle says: Barry has really stepped up this winter – he’s essentially our only full time employee right now. Oh, and he’s really chatty.
This was our conversation:
I’ve never interviewed anyone before. I’m channeling my inner Diane Sawyer here. Can you feel her presence?
Let’s call this category of questions the ‘food category.’ Start off simple – favorite food(s)?
To make – fresh pasta with a simple cream sauce. To eat – soup and sandwich
Beverage of choice?
Guinness or an old-fashioned these days but it changes all the time.
[laughs] Six months ago it was probably Coors light and a rum and coke
When did you start cooking? Always something you were interested in?
I didn’t really start cooking seriously until after high school but I’ve been feeding people since I started volunteering at the Kids Eat Smart program. I was about 12 years old at the time
Awesome. I was going to have a sort of secondary question regarding your favorite foods to cook, but since you already sort of answered that, is there a certain type of food – regionally speaking – that you’re drawn to right now?
Lately, I would say Japanese food, from both cooking and watching David Chang make ramen on this show called Mind of a Chef.
Love that show.
Japanese food, especially ramen, is something I find really cool right now. I say on probably a weekly basis how easy it would be to eat a pile of noodles tossed in a bit of sesame oil.
And if you watch Japanese cooks, they dedicate an enormous amount of time into mastering very specific skills. Seeing someone slice tuna for sushi, when that’s what he or she does – they’re the person who has the best sliced tuna, it’s pretty cool
Definitely. One more food question. Is there one restaurant, anywhere in the world, you’d like to eat at?
I mean, most people would probably say somewhere like Noma. I think probably The French Laundry. I have two of Thomas Keller’s books and reference them pretty regularly. It would be cool to eat food that I read about all the time, prepared exactly the way it’s supposed to be.
Next category: Questions I found on a website called ‘random first date questions.’
If you were to perform in the circus. What would you do?
[laughs] Strong man.
No I’d want to be the ring master. The guy with the charm who gets everyone excited for the acts. I’ve emceed a few events before and I think that’s where I would fit.
You know, because I’m so charming and charismatic…
And if you had to be a kitchen appliance, what would you be and why?
Hmm… instinct is saying stove, but I’d want to be one with a flat top griddle because you can cook essentially anything on one of those. With or without pots and pans.
I think this first date is going really well. I want you to meet my parents
I’m so good with parents man. I’ll make them proud of you
Finally, which farm animal would you be? And why?
Sheepdog! First, I love dogs. Dogs are human’s best friend for a reason. Second, a Sheepdog has a job that’s not just “get old and be food”. Third, chances are the dog eats and sleeps inside with the people and not in the barn
I was thinking pig at first because a pig becomes bacon, but the sheep dog has got the life man.
And that is all the questions I have for the “things you probably shouldn’t ask on a first date” category.
Hey Barry, I’m a TV host that loves giving away free stuff. Here Barry, have some money to go on a trip somewhere. Have a car too, what the heck. Where will you be going on your trip?
Honestly, right now I’d go anywhere that’s quiet. Some island with nobody for miles, no cell phone, and no TV. Just a cabin, a beach, lots of water and sun.
Hey Barry, I’m Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. I’m sorry we beat your Packers in the playoffs. Are we still friends?
[Laughs] I can’t be mad at Russ, he really is a great QB. Just because I can’t stand that franchise doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate some of their players. Anyone who says Marshawn Lynch isn’t a superhero has no idea what they’re talking about.
Thanks for this, Barry.
This week, Barry will be cooking menu items including the tebasaki wings, the duck cassoulet, and the short rib with risotto if you’d like to come down and give them a try!