CREATIVE TASTES: “There is a lot of room for creativity and trying new things here at River Rocks. The entire kitchen staff shares a high level of passion and energy that we all feed off of. I find trying to be more creative with my plates forces me to be more creative with ingredients, manipulating them more, changing their texture or profile. I like keeping components somewhat separate on the plate, allowing the customer to first taste them individually, and then build that perfect bite.”
PURSUIT OF CULINARY EXCELLENCE: “Believe it or not, I do a lot of research on Instagram. About half the people I follow are chefs in major cities, or line cooks that work for those chefs. I see videos and plates that I try to recreate and adapt to our menu. There are also a few websites that I spend time on devoted to molecular gastronomy and more modern techniques.”
RECIPE FOR HEALTH: “I try to respect people’s dietary restrictions and difficulties, as much as possible, even tailoring a few of our recipes to accommodate people who lead vegan or gluten free lifestyles. Over the years, I’ve made a point of using less butter and cream in a lot of my recipes. Using different techniques, I can create the same flavors and ‘mouth feel.’”
COVERING THE CLASSIC: “I like the idea of taking classic dishes and putting either a modern or regional twist on them. Also, I am a huge fan of small plates, tapas style eating. I like the idea of being able to create your own meal but tasting a lot of different things.”
KEEPING IT SPECIAL … AGAIN AND AGAIN: “I know a lot of our regulars come in for the specials. I know a few who come in and don’t even look at the menus. On our dinner menu, I would say our shrimp ‘n grits has a pretty loyal following. On our bar menu, our Black and Bleu filet with its Johnny walker caramelized onions and blue cheese butter is very popular.”
SHARED RECIPE: “At home, I tend to default to cooking the easier fare. One of my go-to recipes is Fettucini Carbonara. It’s a fast, tasty dish families can enjoy at home.”
- 1/2 ounce prosciutto or bacon
- 1/4 cup of frozen peas
- 2 ounces of parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 8 ounces of cooled pasta
- 3 fluid ounces of water from pasta pot
- ½ tablespoon of black pepper
- Bring pot of water to boil. Add pasta.
- While pasta is boiling, sauté bacon in pan until crispy.
- Add 3 ounces of pea water to pan
- Remove pan from heat. Add egg and Parmesan cheese.
- Mix until smooth.
- Drain rest of water from pasta and add pasta to pan.
- Toss and finish with black pepper.
- Top with Parmesan cheese.