By David Lands
This is not what they call the British invasion – this is an English invasion. And the Bay Area cooking scene would be best for him.
I’m glad to report this celebrity chef (really, even happier!) Todd English (Known for its celebrity. Of olive Numerous restaurants are opening in Las Vegas and across the country. Of olive Excellent dining in San Francisco with Italian restaurant as well as a potential new one English Hotel In the center of Napa.
I have been a fan of Chef English since the meal years ago. Of olive In Las Vegas, where I still have memories of his signed fig pizza (we also saw the celebrity James Kane, but that’s a different story!) I enjoyed interviewing this chef recently. Which has restaurants (as well as hotels) from Vegas to New York and all the points in between, with its dynamic business partner. Keith Burcard. Here are some highlights:
Gay gourmet: Todd, how did you start your cooking?
Todd English: My first professional cooking job was when I was 15 years old. Yes, I started working in the kitchen when I was 15, but I really wanted to be a baseball player. And I loved playing baseball and I was enrolled in many schools for baseball and football. So, I chased after him for a while and got hurt and retreated a little. In those days there was no such rehabilitation as there is today. I stopped cooking because I loved it and to make a living. I worked under some very good chefs who taught me ropes. I worked in European kitchens and around the world. These days, (you’re talking about the 1970s and 1980s), with the exception of a few French restaurants in New York, there weren’t many professional American chefs doing this. I ended up pursuing it, then applied to the American Culinary Institute, and the rest is history. Once I got to school there, I was convinced that this was what I wanted to do.
Gay gourmet: Has the epidemic changed the way you think about restaurants?
Todd English: Yes, very much so. I wonder why people go to restaurants. People are very sociable and want to be with each other and be part of something that is either a dining experience or a fun experience. So, we’re really starting to include them all in the restaurant, even on a larger scale. I’m sure restaurants will not only be about food but also about being out for a night out, like a Broadway show or a movie or a sporting event.
Gay Gourmet: Many of our readers go to Vegas for fun. Tell me a little bit about your restaurant there and what makes them different.
Keith Burkard Olives Todd’s Marquis Restaurant has great dishes on the table, amazing fig pizza (his signature dish) and Italian-Mediterranean cuisine. The Best Eight Area 15 Experience an arts / burning main theme, with in-depth activities throughout the facility. The Best is a set down, table service American themed restaurant. It also focuses on BBQ and Smoke House, meat and non-meat offerings (vegan BBQ, BBQ carrot ribs, cabbage steak), toods burgers, sandwiches and pizza. Pepper Club Located in the new. English Hotel Property This is an Asian Fusion restaurant with a full sushi suite. Different American-Italian dishes with Asian accents; And a fun, creative, and engaging cocktail menu. Todd and I did the basic design.
Todd English: with Pepper Club, We tried to combine our two favorite foods which are zones and dishes which I think are very popular. As chefs, we have a lot of creative tools and we can create combinations that are different, fun and exciting; and allow us to take a fresh look at things. Pepper Club Offers a combination of Japanese and Mediterranean, my two favorites. Both have always had a long history of raw fish. Both have a long history of vegetable, deep flavors and salami flavors. This is a fun place. It’s just fun. That’s it, because I think it should be fun and light.
olive Obviously my original brand is from 1989. It really was to be an everyday restaurant, a place you could go if you were in Vegas, for example, one day for lunch and then a few days later for dinner. This is a gathering place where you can meet at the bar and cut if you wish. That means a lot of things to a lot of people. So, I think it’s a special kind and it has a lot of memories for people. as far as Beast Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. There are small children during the day who love interactive art on the walls and digital programming there. Then you get a kind of grip after night. The venue has psychedelic fun things that are definitely mind blowing, experimental and fun. That’s another thing you see there. We try to be playful with food, very Instagram friendly; it’s presented differently and it’s fun to watch. Most importantly, it tastes good.
Gay gourmet: Tell me about The English Hospitality Group (EHG). In addition to the restaurant, you have joined the hotel business. What is the model?
Keith Burcard: During CoVID, which went crazy, Todd and I worked with different backgrounds (as a cook and mine in finance, entrepreneurship, design). We thought, let’s work together and create the next wave of hybrid hospitality. We are already on track as a leading global operator and manufacturer. English Hotel Launched in Vegas in February. We were able to make it during COVID, it’s been a huge success. We are appointing a high level team to implement the identification of real estate prospects.
Gay gourmet: Have a plan for the Bay Area?
Keith Burcard: Todd English’s daughter Belle Williams is Sonoma’s chef and we are trying to identify a place. olive The restaurant in San Francisco produces an Italian cuisine that touches on meat and non-meat offerings, especially since Californians are leaders in cooking innovations.
Gay gourmet: Will you open a hotel in San Francisco?
Keith Burcard: Not the city, but we are discussing possible options in the city of Napa. I would like to do something that is not too big.
Gay gourmet: How did you structure / build the company? What are the characteristics of the EHG experience?
Keith Burcard: The key is to experience a high level of eating experience like no other. We are proud of our cuisine, process, services and offerings in all our restaurants. They are very unique and make it a memorable experience.
Gay gourmet: What are your favorite dishes?
Todd English: Well, that’s really hard to say. It’s like saying, which is my favorite baby? I think more about what my favorite inspiration is or my favorite trends or things I’m pursuing. One of them is that I am obsessed with vegan barbecue, I am passionate about smoking and picking vegetables and making them the star of the plate and I don’t have to use Beyond Meats for that. I think making vegetables a central star is the way I want to approach it. So, we make carrot ribs where we line up the carrots and smoke with this barbecue glaze for 6 hours. You break them and you think, well, maybe I’m eating barbecue pork, but these are real carrots, sweet, delicious, delicious and light, and you feel good eating them. I like to combine flavors and spices and ideas around food that really make it effective. There are only so many ways you can cook curriculum, but when you cook vegetables, there are thousands of ways to do it.
Keith Burcard: I have two favorite dishes – Cabbage Permisan And a broccoli and cabbage soup that’s amazing.
Gay gourmet: Keith, I’m going to put you on the spot. Is your favorite Todd English restaurant?
Keith Burcard: Olives in the BahamasThis is a beautiful restaurant on the Gulf Canal. The weather is perfect; The fish has just been caught. This is the ultimate dining experience.
Gay gourmet: What are your favorite San Francisco restaurants?
Keith Burcard: Altino in North Beach.
Todd English: Slow bear
Gay gourmet: What’s up with your restaurant in New York?
Todd English: With reference to New York: Food Hall, New York City Plaza Hasn’t reopened and it’s only for a number of reasons, but we’re definitely trying to open it soon. You know, I love that place, and I love it. This was the first incident of its kind in the states. The definition of food hall is changing and we are rebuilding it as we speak. Of Park Rose Location in New York is also a developing concept. We expect it to open in 18 months from next year. This is a very interesting place, with a lot of history. It is in a building that was once New York’s tallest building at the turn of the century and overlooks the old City Hall. This is a very vibrant neighborhood.
Gay gourmet: what’s next?
Keith Burcard: Going forward, we are ensuring that all key variables in all hospitality are identified. We want to focus on community, art, food, and ultimately employee development. We want to create an ecosystem that empowers and motivates employees to grow with the organization over time. We want to be a leader in the hospitality industry.
Todd English Restaurant: https://tinyurl.com/yc2vnm4r
English Hotel, Las Vegas: https://theenglishhotel.com/
Readers, please note: The Gay Gourmet is missing a month of “bits and bytes” but look for an extended “bits and bytes” feature in my next column.
David Lands, nicknamed “The Gay Gourmet,” is a foodie, freelance writer, and retired PR Maun. Follow her on Instagram @GayGourmetSF or email her: [email protected] Or meet online at: www.gaygourmetsf.com
Published June 22, 2022.