What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?
I grew up in a very agricultural area of Wisconsin. When I was a kid a few of my cousins owned a small hobby farm. They raised their own chickens, owned a cow and grew vegetables. During the summers we would also take family trips to berry farms, picking strawberries and then bringing baskets full home for processing and preservation. At this time I was more interested in where our food came from, you know, what exactly we were eating.
Has your childhood/parents had an impact on the chef you are today?
My parents were very dedicated and hard working people. They gave me the foundation and encouragement to get to where I am now.
Do you try and recreate any of the dishes from your childhood on your menu?
Yes. Currently we are harvesting strawberries from our 25 acres of USDA-certified organic farmlands and are serving a dish, Tristar Strawberry with Ricotta Dumplings and Strawberry Chamomile Consommé, on our tasting menu. It was inspired by my mother’s Strawberry Soup (strawberries, sour cream, a little vanilla and dumplings). She would always make it after we came home from the berry farms.
Describe your menu at The Inn at Dos Brisas and how often it changes…
Our menus are 100 per cent garden-centric. Menus change based on the harvest, which is completely dependent on our weather. We have a joke that we have 365 seasons at The Inn.
What kind of experience do you hope to give your guests?
With 25 acres of USDA-certified organic farmland at our fingertips, a few steps from the restaurant, we truly are the ultimate farm-to-table restaurant and with that we want guests to experience first hand how fresh organic produce enhances the quality of the cuisine, to highlight the purity and simplicity in the vegetables. If you adore heirloom tomatoes, we’re going to remind you why. Knowledge is power.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
Becoming the Executive Chef at The Inn at Dos Brisas.
If you could take a plane ride to anywhere in the world, just for one meal, where would it be and why?
Restaurant Bras located in Laguiole, France for the purpose and purity of what Michel Bras cooks.