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.”

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  • 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.

 

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