A fun menu for entertaining
Every year we vow to eat better, immerse ourselves more completely in the joys of cooking, and become more at home on the range. This New Years resolution can be the first step toward entering into a whole new relationship with your kitchen.
Every year we vow to eat better, immerse ourselves more completely in the joys of cooking, and become more at home on the range. This New Year’s resolution can be the first step toward entering into a whole new relationship with your kitchen.
With this in mind, we spoke to one of Vancouver’s youngest rising stars, Chef Nick Brown, about the finer points of kitchen keeping. As the Executive Chef of Gramercy Grill, his passion and pragmatism have created a menu rooted in quality, comfort, and value. Jumping into his first dish pit at the age of 13 and never looking back, Brown has earned his stripes honestly.
“The most important thing about cooking is the mindset,” said Brown, who crafts daily delights in admittedly cramped quarters. “Having all the best equipment and top ingredients makes no difference if you don’t enter the kitchen with the intention to have some fun.”
For Brown, that intent is fueled by ready access to top-notch ingredients and the support of Gramercy Grill’s owners, who share his philosophy. After six years with the organically grounded Tomato Fresh Food Café, he developed a love affair with organics that continues to shine in Gramercy’s menu.
“Too many people look at cooking as a daily chore,” said Brown. “Not every meal has to be a fancy affair, but they should be as enjoyable to make as to eat. Put on some good music, trust your instincts, and spend a bit of time getting prepared. It makes all the difference.”
The key to consistent culinary creations is organization. “Sit down and take 10 minutes to think a meal through. You don’t have to plan every detail of each meal if you stock your kitchen with fresh ingredients and keep a flexible pantry.”
Brown keeps a fairly lean kitchen at home, like most professional chefs. His standbys include a variety of curry pastes, Malden sea salt, canned tomatoes, and dried beans. Quality garlic, triple-smoked bacon, and an indulgent can of duck confit are a few personal favourites he uses to bring some aroma to the room.
“To be honest, I don’t eat at home very often. I like to visit other restaurants on my nights off. It gives me inspiration when I head back into the kitchen,” said Brown with a grin. “I guess I’ve just grown to love the feel of a busy room full of happy people.”