Brian Peterson of Cork, Part Two

Categories: Chef Chat

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​Yesterday, we spoke with Executive Chef and co-owner Brian Peterson of Cork in Chandler. Today, the chat continues...

Peterson plans to open a second restaurant in Chandler called BLD (short for Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) at the beginning of March. The focus will be on American comfort food made with healthful, organic ingredients. One of the main features of the new space will be a curing room where guests can view salami, ham and other charcuterie meats being dry-aged. Peterson will oversee the opening of BLD while remaining at Cork full-time.

Why it's good to be the boss: Opening your own restaurant, you get to do what you want. You don't answer to anyone else. Being an entrepreneur and doing what you love, you can't beat that.

Isn't it a lot of work to run your own restaurant? It's a lot of work either way. If you work at a resort, they work you to death. If you own your own restaurant, you choose to work yourself to death. 

Do you cook at home? When I'm home, I eat for sustenance. I only cook on the holidays for family. Usually some roasted prime rib, mashed potatoes and gravy. I come here [to Cork] and cook it. It gives me two hours away from the house. My dad likes to help me out, he'll be my prep cook for the day.

What do you do for fun? I hang out with my kids, I work out a lot. I watch sports. What about karaoke? Never. It would take way too many cocktails to get me to karaoke. 

 

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A healthy brunch of oatmeal and turkey sausage at Cork

 

Do you ever eat at fast food restaurants?A couple times a year, I get a craving for a McDonald's double cheeseburger; the occasional Chick-Fil-A sandwich with extra pickles. We're on the road with the family driving to California, we're going to stop at McDonald's. I'm not going to lie.

It's easy being green: I think it's becoming more and more feasible for restaurants to stick with the local, organic trend because there are more local farms. The more readily available [organic produce and meat] becomes, the more mainstream it will be.

Food trends for 2011: I think charcuterie is going to continue to be popular. Common stuff that you can make in your kitchen will be more prevalent -- sauerkraut, cucumbers, pickles, ketchups, jams. It's not super new, but chefs are making their own styles.

How about cupcakes? Cupcakes are gone. If I hear another thing about cupcakes, I'm going to shoot myself.

You serve a lot of raw meats at Cork. Are diners always open to that? People are set in their ways as far as raw foods. I don't think you can change someone's perception of that. My mom, if I handed her a piece of medium-rare pork, she would think she was going to die or get trichinosis. Instead, it's probably some of the cleanest, safest meat you can eat.

How did you get into wild game meats? When I lived in Chicago, I was over my best friend's house one day for a birthday party and they had their venison summer sausage out. They said it was from a deer they shot. I was eating it on a Triscuit with cheddar. It was delicious, I couldn't stop eating it. From that day on, I would try anything.

This was part two of our interview with Cork's Brian Peterson. Check out part one, and look for a recipe from Chef Peterson tomorrow on Chow Bella.


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