AFM: Name your favorite sport, flower, and vegetable.
SE: Baseball. I grew up watching and talking baseball with my dad. I played competitively into my twenties. Go Red Sox, there is no other team as far as I’m concerned. I love just about every vegetable, but if I would have to pick one to eat at home it might just be celery (I know I am weird)! As far as the flower, Tiger Lily.
AFM: Current food or foods that you are especially enjoying in your dishes?
SE: I love to use food that is good for you. So I use a lot of Niman Ranch, organic, non-GMO proteins if I can, and as much locally grown produce as possible.
AFM: What is your best advice for a young chef who wants a career like yours?
SE: Work smart and hard, be on time, keep your knives sharp, ask a lot of questions, only make the same mistake once, take care of your body, and prepare to have a headache most days!
AFM: When I wanted to take your photograph, you insisted that the photo include pastry chef Melissa Barth. Please explain.
SE: She is my partner here. I may be the executive chef, but Melissa is also a creative force in my kitchen and has earned the title of chef. I wondered what the bread and pastry program was going to be like here before I started and we were immediately on the same page. She works her ass off to produce fun, modern comfort food desserts and has a real knack for baking, hence the reason we have such outstanding bread offerings here. I couldn’t do it without her.
AFM: The kitchen is humming, the food is top notch, and Shawn Gaborhas the cocktails covered. Spring Training is here. Perfect timing?
SE: I would say so. We are just missing one piece to this puzzle. Susan is operating the Pony Room so expertly! Shawn has the craft beer line up, and the cocktail program moving in the right direction, and the kitchen is producing quality food and a very high volume. It’s a lot of fun at The New Pink Pony these days.