chef: dick barrows
location: starfish brasserie, bethlehem, pa
recipe: corn and crab chowder
My influences are varied. I have traveled and eaten in Europe, Mexico, and Vietnam. Also, my wife and I go to all kinds of restaurants to see what's out there. I have a pretty large cookbook collection.
Where did you learn to cook?
I learned in the late 1970's in Philadelphia during the first restaurant rennaissance. It was a very exciting time. Most of my friends from that period went on to do something creative.
Jacques Pepin's La Technique. That was my "culinary school" book.
What's the one ingredient you could not live without?
Fresh local produce. Once you use that you start to understand what freshness means.
Favorite Microbrew beer or wine?
La Chouffe Belgian Ale —it's awesome and unique. As far as wine lately I've been enjoying Malbecs from Argentina.
Favorite music to listen to while cooking?
What is your favorite type of food?
Fresh, full-flavored foods.
Most memorable meal?
Paris 2001 at the Michelin three star Guy Savoy. I'd call it inspiring.
Most memorable dinner guest?
All of the guests for our 2004 James Beard Foundation Benefit. It was an outstanding event that I planned and collaborated with local chefs and friends.
Most irritating celebrity chef?
It used to be Emeril, But now celebrity chefs are just plain weird.
What makes indie food better?
Local people hopefully being supported by other local people. The chains have money, marketing, and levels of management. It's rough but that's the life I've chosen and love.