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Thomas Haas
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Background

This month I met with Thomas Haas in Chicago. As he prepared with his team mates for their Beaver Creek Pastry Competition, GlobalChefs fired some questions.
The interview provided few pieces of information to start; he has a great sense of humor, far too much energy and eats loads........

Who do you regard as your mentor, or the most influential Chef that you worked for

Daniel, he is so straight forward and passionate. He cares so much about the food and the restaurant.

What inspires you?

I find inspiration from within, from the restaurant and the kitchen environment

Describe your culinary style & philosophy.

My desserts are based on the classic techniques of pastry work. I maximize in the use of seasonal products, keeping the idea of the dessert simple but adding a couple of complex twists to it. 'Complex Simplicity'....

What do you think makes a great kitchen chef?

A great chef is somebody who can combine strong management skill with cooking passion. I think the essence of being the best when you get to that level is not allowing yourself to become totally absorbed in business side of running a kitchen and still teach and drive your team.

What should the relationship between an (Executive) Chef and (Executive) Pastry Chef be?

Minimal ! (kidding) Equal respect, support and the same mind set. The food and the desserts are equally important, therefore it is critical that they work well together make and sense.

What was the first cooking book that you bought?

Michele Roux, Finest Desserts.

When you decide that the kitchen was going to be your life?

When I was fourteen, it was kind of my Father's decision. My family has a cooking history that goes back four generations.

What is key in the career development of an aspiring chef?

Be quiet and inhale the good stuff. Choose the best learning opportunity. Work in the best kitchens that your situation can afford, but look behind the marketing before you join them!

What makes a great menu?

Seasonal products that are carefully chosen, awareness to textures and flavors. A menu should offer the guest some safe ground and some dishes for the experimentalist 80% solid and 20% fantasy.....

If you were not a chef what would you be doing?

Something in entertainment, maybe playing sports.

What is your ambition?

To be in total control of what I am doing..........

 
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