M.J. Coe Dishes on the Weirdest Thing He Couldn't Eat and the Death of Cupcake Wars

Categories: Chef and Tell

Katie Johnson
Tammie Coe Bakery and MJ Bread on Roosevelt
I think it's safe to say your favorite thing to work with is bread, but why?
Bread is so simple. It's the first thing to arrive at the table and the last thing to be taken away. Once you learn the cause and effect of ingredients you can basically tailor the dough's taste, texture, color, all of it. And to me the manipulation of that is just - I don't want to say it's a God complex, but to have control over something like that versus someone in culinary handling a protein, there are just a lot more variable to making bread.

Most over-rated ingredient:
I don't think there's an overrated ingredient, just the context it's used in. I think when people try to pile up too many ingredients that can become alarming. It's just like an explosion of flavors.

Most under-rated ingredient:
Salt. Salt balances everything. It controls everything. Without salt you have utter collapse in baking and pastry. In the culinary world people don't understand a lot of what salt does. I've been wanting to try salt water because they say it has the perfect salinity.

Trend you like:
I'm really big on simplicity and not over-complicating things.

Dish/trend or catch-phrase you wish would go away and why:
Food Network competition shows. I wish all those would shrivel up and die. Cupcake Wars? Please. Such a joke. It's just so unrealistic.

But you do watch Food Network?

I watch all kinds of things. I'll watch Honey Boo Boo. It makes me appreciate what I have- on the other hand, "what is that mother thinking?!"

Your favorite cuisine and why:
Sushi because it's clean and minimalist.

Weirdest thing you ever ate:
The one thing I just couldn't get down my throat was a sea bass sperm sack. I just couldn't do it. It had this weird velvety texture and texture is a deciding factor for me.

Enjoy this Chef Salad? Check out Nikki's previous interviews with:
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Aaron Chamberlin of St. Francis
Michael Rusconi of Rusconi's American Kitchen
Chrysa Robertson of Rancho Pinot
Lynn Rossetto of The Splendid Table
Cullen Campbell of Crudo
DJ Monti Carlo
Pete DeRuvo of Davanti Enoteca
Chuck Wiley of Cafe ZuZu
Justin Beckett of Beckett's Table
Bryan Dooley of Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue
Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Cafe
Jeff Kraus of Crepe Bar
Bernie Kantak of Citizen Public House
James Porter of Petite Maison
Johnny Chu of SoChu House Neo Asian + Martini Bar
Stephen Jones of Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
Chris Gross of Christopher's Restaurant and Crush Lounge
Chris Curtiss of NoRTH Arcadia
Payton Curry of Brat Haus
Mark Tarbell of Tarbell's
Josh Hebert of Posh
Kevin Binkley of Binkley's Restaurant
Lori Hashimoto of Hana Japanese Eatery
Larry White, Jr. Lo-Lo's Fried Chicken & Waffles

Note: This post was edited from its original version.

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Location Info

Tammie Coe Cakes

610 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Federal Pizza

5210 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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