Yesterday, we brought you a profile of Scott Romano, executive chef at our favorite downtown restaurant Charlie Palmer at The Joule. Today we toss a few questions his way, and tomorrow demonstrates how to make one of his dishes. We don't know which dish yet, but it sounds like odds are good that it might go well with pork.
City of Ate: Come clean, what's the story with the banner we saw hanging in your kitchen? [It's an enormous Giants banner that made Jerry Jones smile] Romano: I am from the East Coast and am a very big New York Giants fan, but I support all the Dallas teams.
CofA: Working at a hotel restaurant we know you get odd requests, especially late night. Romano: I had a guest ask us to go the buy packaged cold cuts instead of our house cured meats. He even sent down a list of the name of witch meat and cheese to buy. Another time we had a request for a breakfast tasting menu during a Saturday night service at 10:45 p.m. I would tell you who these guests are, but I need to respect celebrity privacy.
CofA: You are big on beef and charcuterie. What do you serve the vegetarian guest? Romano: I offer different types of sautéed vegetables, but I always serve them quinoa with plump apricots and cumin toasted almonds. Quinoa is a grain with high protein level.
CofA: What is your favorite Dallas burger and taco? Romano: Burger: Twisted Root. Taco: Jorges at One Arts Plaza
CofA: We all love our chef-driven custom cocktails, but what are a few good dive bars in Dallas? Romano: City Tavern, Elbow room, Lee Harvey's, One Eyed Penguin
CofA: What is the worst meal you ever had? Romano: Traveling across country, I had one of the worst burgers ever in Colorado.
CofA: What would you pitch to the Food Network? Romano: The art of cooking pig
CofA: What will you be cooking at the State Fair this year? Romano: Jalapeño stuffed quail legs with chipotle ale glaze
CofA: What ingredient can you not live without? Romano: Chili flakes, celery seeds, and ANYTHING PORK
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CofA: What was your worst kitchen disaster? Romano: When my whole restaurant flooded in NY and the water shut-off was in the building next door
CofA: What is a food you miss from New Jersey that we simply cannot replicate in Texas? Romano: Taylor ham A.K.A. PORK ROLL
CofA: If you could master one sport what would it be? Romano: Ice hockey
CofA: What is the best music to cook by? Romano: The Grateful Dead.