I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions. This week, I'm sending long distance love to my pal, Brian Cartenuto. I met Brian several years ago when the then-new Seattle restaurant, Cantinetta opened. He was a young and confident chef then and frankly, remains that way today! Full of piss and vigor, I was instantly struck as he both worked the room and hustled in the kitchen with ease. Charming as they come, Brian is a pro at front and back of the house - a rare trait in a chef. You may recall his savvy one-liners, as he appeared on (and WON!) Foodnetwork's Cuthroat Kitchen earlier this year.
Today, Brian can be found continually striving to build and improve upon his burgeoning restaurant empire, back home on the Florida panhandle. Moving back home to be closer to family, he owns and operates Tucker Duke's Lunchbox & Market - a southern style restaurant that turns out award-winning burgers in NW Florida and uses local, seasonal and sustainable food sources. While that's no big whoop in Seattle, home of the backyard farm, it is a very big deal in the south! After the brick and mortar, he launched a sister-mobile restaurant and now runs a Tucker Duke food truck, as well. I expect big things from Brian in the future - his work brain is always on and he's full of big ideas. If you're in the panhandle, be sure to schedule a trip by one of his joints - pop in and say hello! And to keep track of Brian and all of his foodie adventures, follow him on Twitter or Instagram, where he posts regular eye-candy.
1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Today's breakfast was cheese steak omelet, with Texas toast, and hash browns and bacon, but this is not my normal, I normally don't have anything.
2. What is one thing you do EVERY day, by choice? I take a nap everyday, I come home after lunch service and take a good hour to two hour nap
3. If you had all the time in the world and no budget restrictions, what one project would you take on just now? (Can be a hobby, business, trip, etc) I would write, have a few houses and places that would be my muse and write, and write a lot about nothing, not to be published but just to get all the thoughts out in my head and on to parchment
4. Where is your 'happy place'? Sundays... After a long work week my happy place would be Sundays, cooking or ordering in dinner, and then watching TV and laughing about the weeks ongoing and the week to come, then off to bed and waking up to start the new week off.
5. What is your signature dish - something you make well and consistently? The tucker duke burger, 1/2 lbs burger on a toasted onion bun, house made American cheese, onion rings with tucker duke sauce, Roma tomatoes spring mix and celery salt. It is the burger that started my restaurant to go on the rise.