Chef Eats: Modern Cafe's Phillip Becht

Categories: Interview

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A fave of Phillip Becht's young son. Яick Harris/Flickr

Modern Cafe Chef Phillip Becht has what he calls three "compartments" of eating: 1) work eats, 2) kid eats and 3) family eats. On a typical work day at the restaurant, he says, the only real reliables are probably three double shots of espresso and a couple of evening pints. The rest depends.

At work, for example, Becht says he's basically just taste taste tasting all day long: "The brine for the pork, the soup I just made, tomato chutney, the pamesan fondue, the duck ragu, some bacon during breakfast shifts, everything. I walk around all day long six days a week eyeballing, sniffing, poking and tasting all that passes before me," he says.

At home, Becht is teaching his son Hugo the concept of square meals. Lately, in between reading sessions of "The Wizard of Oz," you might find Becht preparing some chicken breast, salmon or shrimp for his son with some rice or noodles. There's also the occasional hot dog and dish of ice cream. Oh, and broccoli. Lots of broccoli.

"This is all very simple preparations," he says. "Not a lot of fat, a little oil, soy sauce, lemon, honey, maple syrup, stuff like that. I like this food and I really like the company."

The third, most special (and neglected, Becht says) "compartment" happens when Becht is able to steal some time with both Hugo and his loved one, Sarah (who is also in the restaurant biz; she works at 112 Eatery). He is looking forward to having some of this family time come summer with produce from his Riverbend Farm CSA.

"As i get on in my life, I have come to understand the beauty and value of eating with my family. Just very simple things: salads, tomatoes, bread and avocados outside with the people I love. That is the best meal I have and one of the rarest."

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