Food News

Burning Questions with Chef Jonathon Erdeljac of Jonathon's Oak Cliff

Each week we track down a chef for a few burning questions about things like favorite cookbooks, kitchen disasters and food shames. This week, Jonathon Erdeljac of Jonathon's Oak Cliff was willing to play along. Erdeljac shares with us what happens when your line cook walks just before brunch and what a great help Mom can be.

(Side note: If you're bored later or, even if you're slammed, check out the food pictures on Jonathon's Oak Cliff Facebook page. Amazing.)

See also: - Burning Questions with Omar Flores - Burning Questions with Tim Byress

What are a few of your favorite cookbooks? Joy of Cooking and my old text book from culinary school, neither ever let me down.

What's the worst thing your ever found in your walk-in? It's gotta be fish in the corner at some of the larger restaurants I've worked at. Or maybe a potato that found its way to a dark corner, but the worst was definitely a homeless guy!

Worst kitchen disaster? Busy Saturday brunch, and of course my new line cook walks, so it's just me, two dishwashers, a full restaurant, a full rail of tickets, an hour wait for FOOD, and my mom standing in front of me asking what she can do to help. Epic fail!

What's an underrated ingredient or food, something you wish that was used more often? Spaghetti squash and butterscotch.

What are a few of your worst food shames, things that as a chef you shouldn't like, but do anyway? Chicken McNuggets, I don't know why, but I love those things, and the Mexican pizza from Taco Bell. Pure evil ...

Best meal you've ever had? The Bar at The Victoria House [Belize], on my honeymoon. We ate grilled lobster, black beans and cilantro-lime rice. We washed it down with lime daiquiris and some crazy sangria. Will never forget that one!

It's hot. What's your favorite summer drink right now? I call it the Tommy O'Collins: ginger beer over ice with a shot of Jameson and fresh lime.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.