When I dialed in, I found Chef Edward Storey on a culinary research sojourn to the dining mecca of Charleston, SC with his Bardo, STILL, Public House and Supper partners in crime.
It was a pleasure to chat with him. He seems very comfortable in own skin and enjoying what life is bringing his way.
images | Glen Bashaw
AltDaily: How long have you worked the ‘back of the house’?
Chef Edward Storey: Oh man, 24 going on 25 years.
If you were opening up your own concept gig five years from now, what would it be?
I would do a hotdog place. I actually love hot dogs. It would be all different types of wieners and sausages with different toppings.
What is the best part of your job?
I love watching the diners’ expressions when they taste my food. I love the looks of satisfaction. Most challenging part? Dealing with customers who don’t enjoy my food and having to explain to them–because they don’t get it after I worked really hard to create the dish.
Currently, what are your favorite ingredients to use?
I love to use fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme, but especially lemongrass; I love lemongrass. I love working with different proteins, too. What I’m working on now is using inexpensive cuts like chuck flat and cooking the hell out them, like six hours or more. So delicious. I like the challenge.
If you could cook alongside a favorite chef, alive or otherwise, who would it be and why?
I guess it would be Thomas Keller. [writer’s note: Keller is the renowned chef/owner of French Laundry and Per Se]. Locally, I’d say Jeff Brown at Cotton Southern Bistro. He’s really doing some great stuff. Would love to get together over cocktails and bounce around ideas.
Current favorite trend in the culinary world?
I don’t really follow trends, but I do like sous vide. I wish I had the time to do it more. We do have have an immersion circulator in Supper’s kitchen. [writer’s note: sous vide – a method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in a water bath or in a temperature-controlled steam environment for longer than normal cooking times eg. 96 hours – a steak can still come out medium rare.]
One you would wish would go away or needs to go away?
What do you and the missus like to cook at home when you have a rare night/weekend off?
We have a subscription to Hello Fresh–[writer’s note: weekly pre-measured ingredient meal delivery which includes recipes]–so this gives my wife, who didn’t know how to cook, a chance to cook and get good at it with me coaching her. We enjoy it.
When you’re away from work, what are some of your other passions, interests?
I love riding BMX bikes, but I’m not as wild as I used to be on the bike because I don’t want to be sore for weeks. I like going to the range to shoot. I have a membership at Bob’s Gun Shop.
Any commentary on the Hampton Roads culinary scene?
I think it’s continuing to go upward. It’s moving toward being a food destination.
If you were to share any pearls of wisdom for someone pursuing a culinary career, what would they be?
Don’t do it! (Laughs.) Honestly, it has to be in your soul and you have to be willing to make that sacrifice… plan to be single and broke for a long time. It will take you a while to find that special person who can put up with and understand this life. I’ve been married for 7 going on 8 years and we’ve been together for 10. It took a while for her to get used to it, but she’s there.
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