Interview With The Office's Chef de Cuisine, Francy Deskin, Part II
Clean Plate Charlie: Does your daughter like cooking? Do you think you'll have another chef in the family?
Chef Francy Deskin: She loves to help. We have a big working island in our kitchen and she pops up on the island and I let her peel vegetables. I let her handle the more user friendly cutting tasks.
How has having a child affected your eating and cooking habits?
There's been a few changes that I've made in our life for our daughter. We belong to an organic buying club. The buying club is a way of getting all sorts of produce. Every two weeks you get a 25-30 lb box of produce. We share the box with another family. If you've already paid for it and you receive the produce you don't want it to go to waste. I think that's a really great thing we've incorporated into our life.
Within the past year we made the change to organic milk. Another thing is that my daughter loves bacon. I feel that she is active enough so I'm not worried about the fat content of the bacon, but I was concerned with the nitrates so mostly for her benefit we get uncured bacon. As far as the childhood obesity epidemic is concerned, and I think it is an epidemic, I would encourage parents to cook as much from scratch. It's almost like a back to basics concept.
Tell us about The Office and the gastropub concept.
My idea of a gastropub before I came onboard with this project, and what is still my idea of a gastropub, is that the food that we serve are pub favorites. Things that you might eat while you're having a drink. Then we put a gastronomical twist on these items. It's interesting.
Gastropub is so bandied around. Is is overused or used incorrectly?
I love the word "gastronomy". It takes me back to CIA. You start school and you're so gung ho and you think you're going to go into a kitchen with your apron on. But it's 6-9 weeks before you ever pick up a knife. The very first class you take at CIA is "gastronomy". Day one you go into the definition of "gastronomy", which is the art, science and lore of cooking. I thinks that's a pretty exciting definition.
When we say we want to put a gastronomical twist on food, we really want to put a twist. I think the food that we do and the menu that we've done is very thoughtfully put together.
Take a hamburger, for example. In the end it's just a hamburger, but I feel that it's so much more. It was a huge decision that was very thoughtfully discussed - what meat to use, the size, the bread that we use, what's in our office sauce, which lettuce, how thick should we slice the onions and tomatoes. This is all for just one menu item. So it is just a burger but it really isn't and to be honest since I've been a part of The Office, I haven't been able to enjoy a burger anywhere else. Maybe one other one, but I won't tell you which one.
How do you feel about David Manero's new roadside stand restaurant, BurgerFi?
I had a really great experience there. I think it's a wonderful concept. I think their concretes are pretty exciting. BurgerFi is poised to launch. They've had a really strong opening. I think it's something that the neighborhood has been hungry for, pardon the pun.
What's on the horizon for you?
I'm really happy in my job. I wish I could work a little less and make the same money. Don't we all? But, cooking makes me really happy. I love working with chef Nick and chef Zack. We're a phenomenal team. Each of us realizes that no one can do it alone and we have a really great and healthy interdependence. We're all really dedicated to the forward motion of the restaurant. I think we just share a mutual respect for one another and I think that counts a lot - working with people that you like and respect and who like and respect you.
Stay tuned for a recipe by Chef Francy, coming soon.
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