Interview with Chef Charles Coe - Part I

Chef Charles Coe has over 20 years experience behind the burner. Coe graduated Valedictorian from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, was appointed Head Chef at Marrriott's Boston Copley Place. He has worked in various FLorida kitchens, most recently as Executive Chef at the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Resort. Chef Charles has two new projects - he's Executive Chef at the brand new Russell's Blue Water Grill and stars in the Lifetime Real Women series, Catch, Clean Cook. Chef Charles found time to chat with Clean Plate Charlie about his adventures in cooking. 

Clean Plate Charlie: Chef, you have a new television show. Can you tell us about that?

Charles Coe: The show is called Catch Clean Cook, The Caribbean. we're a culinary adventure show. We have some amazing divers that dive down and get the catch - spiny lobster, stone crab claws, snapper. I'm only allowed to bring my knives . I can't bring spices or anything. Every ingredient has to be what I can get from the land or borrow from locals. That makes it interesting. I'm getting the sea salt off the rocks. I'm hacking open mangos and coconuts. We go through local people's homes. We knock on their doors. We're interacting with local chefs. Some of the divers work at National Geographic . This is a well put together show. Our editing team and lighting designers are professionals. We also have a bar chef, Tiffany, on the show and a party planner, Jacqueline, so we're really sort of a travelling party.

Where have you filmed?

We've been through the Exumas, Paradise Island, Nassau. Wwe don't go to the touristy spots, we do the opposite. We go with the locals. We've meet some great people. Do you want to take the show to, say a Food Network or a Travel Channel? Now that its nationally syndicated, we can. A lot of times they won't speak to you until it's nationally syndicated. We've been nationally aired on Lifetime. We have people buying the rights, so this show is about to be big.

How did you get this cool television show?

As Executive Chef, I was walking the restaurant and I met these great people and started talking about fresh fish. They said, instead of the fish flying to you, how about you flying to the fish? So I show up at the airport and there's a plane waiting for me and I fell in love with this family. We've been filming and we have 13-15 episodes in the bag. Its our way of life - were sustainable. I'm a certified green chef in the state of Florida. I bring this concept to this restaurant.

How do you bring this green concept to Russell's Blue Water Grill?

Every day I bring in fresh meat, fresh seafood, fresh produce. We don't have a freezer. The first thing I did was take the microwave and the freezer and I threw it away. I'm not planning on making microwave popcorn in the future. Everyone was saying how can you do it? When did this revolution happen when microwave and freezers took over?

That's got to mean a lot of your time is spent procuring food for the restaurant.

We're lucky with local produce and fish. The show has given me leverage with purveyors, so I deal with the owners, not the salespeople. The average dish at Blue water grill is $10 for lunch and $20 for dinner. Mango lobster tempura is the most expensive, which is $22.95. The menus are always evolving based on what's available.

Stay tuned for Part II of our interview with Chef Charles Coe, coming soon.


Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss