Chef and Tell, part two: The Cherry Cricket's Antonio Gorjoux on cooking the perfect burger and opening a second Cricket
This is part two of my interview with Antonio Gorjoux, the kitchen manager of the Cherry Cricket. In part one of that interview, Gorjoux dishes on the day he nearly got fired, eating cow-eye tacos, and the secrets behind the Cricket burger.
Best food city in America: Chicago. It's a huge city with a lot of competition, so the bar is set really high. I'm a steak guy, and Chicago restaurants have great steaks, but I love the deep-dish pizzas, too, which I'd never had before moving to Chicago. I can honestly say that I never had a bad experience at any restaurant while I lived in Chicago. Everything from the food to the service was amazing at every restaurant I went to.
Favorite restaurant: La Parrilla Suiza in Mexico City. In English, that translates to "The Swiss Grill," even though there's nothing Swiss about it. It's a great Mexican restaurant with amazing soups, fondues, steaks, pork chops and huaraches.
Favorite ingredient: I love the flavor -- and the aroma -- of roasted garlic. Along with salt and pepper, I use it in pretty much everything I cook at home.
Most overrated ingredient: Yellow cheddar cheese. It's used in all the Mexican restaurants in this country, even though it doesn't even exist in Mexico.
Most underrated ingredient: Fresh cilantro. I love the flavor of it, and I use it in everything, from soups to salsas. It's not too strong, and it doesn't have a dominant flavor -- like cumin, for example.
Favorite local ingredient and where you get it: Harry's Habanero Hot Sauce from the Boulder Hot Sauce Company. It has a great depth of flavor, but it's not too spicy; you can still taste the flavors. And I love that it's local.
Best recent food find: Fresh rosemary. At home, I like to bake trout wrapped with aluminum foil, roasted garlic, fresh rosemary, poblano chiles and corn. It has a beautiful flavor.
Favorite spice: I use a lot of oregano. I love the aroma when I rub the leaves between my hands. I use it for cooking, and with fresh vegetables to make a salad, and in salad dressing.
One food you can't live without: I love the flavor of a good steak.