We continue with our interview with Emeril's Miami Beach chef de cuisine, Tim Doolittle. Read part I of the interview here.
Clean Plate Charlie: Talk to me about the fact that this is Emerils, a New Orleans restaurant and the Miami Beach menu is not traditional New Orleans food.
Chef Tim Doolittle: This is a Miami restaurant. It's owned by a guy who became famous in New Orleans. We have ties to New Orleans and were proud of that, but this is a Miami restaurant and I think that for Miami to embrace this restaurant, it needs to be a Miami restaurant because probably 60% or more of our guests don't even know about New Orleans. They're from Portugal, Spain, Central America, South America, Europe so when they come to Miami they want Miami. An that's what we deliver to them. We have some New Orleans little flairs and touches, but this is a Miami restaurant.
Do you see Miami embracing the farm to table movement?
I'm going to do everything in my power to have that happen at least in these four walls. I respect my neighbors. I know some pretty successful restaurants along the beach, but what they're doing - if it's Sysco or Farmer Joe - It's not my concern. The restaurant scene in Miami, if they want to embrace the agriculture that great. I know I'm going to.
Are there any food trends that you see happening that we should look out for?
Simplicity. What is old is new and simple is going to rule. I think if you look at the Michelin starred restaurants, not only in he USA but the world, I guess the point of the menus is the simplicity. I've been to Robuchon a half a dozen times in Las Vegas and there are three things on the plate and nothing was sparkling or exploding or insane but they were absolutely produced and handled and cooked to perfection. And I think that takes a lot more skill. I know that it takes more skill and dedication than a big garnish hanging off a plate or fried whatever. To make something that beautiful out of things so simple. It takes a really special skill and I think that the people that will really shine in the coming years are people that have that skill.
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What tips would you give a chef at home for cooking at home?
Salt, pepper, sugar and butter. I think that people generally at home under season their food. They're a little scared. Maybe their doctor told them no to eat salt or butter but the fact is that they get less salt than eating anything in the supermarket. If you're cooking at home, you want to do something special. You want it to be great for your family, something that they'll remember. So do it right. a little pat of butter in a sauce or a little salt in the finish can make all the difference in the world.