Round two with Kevin Morrison, exec chef-owner of Pinche Taqueria
Part one of my interview with Kevin Morrison, exec chef-owner of Pinche Taqueria, ran yesterday; this is part two of our chat.
What do you enjoy most about your craft? It's always changing, so it fits my personality. I get bored easily, so I'm fortunate in that I have a great release and playground to come to every day. I do everything here but jump behind the bar; that's the one area where my crew won't let me go.
- Kevin Morrison, exec chef-owner of Pinche Taqueria, on learning enough to move on
- Kevin Morrison opening a second Pinche Taqueria in Highland
- At Pinche Taqueria, an irreverent cocktail program complements the food
What's your biggest pet peeve? Dirty bathroom mirrors and a dirty front door. Really, you're too busy to clean those? I always tell the crew to pretend that they're having their in-laws over for the first time. Do you really want their first impression to be a fingerprinted front door?
Weirdest customer request: A guy ordered a margarita and wanted it super-spicy, so we put a whole serrano chile in there. It still wasn't hot enough, so we made a fresh habanero paste and poured that in there. He was sweating like crazy, but his wife said that he wouldn't be happy until be cried. He didn't cry.
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: A pickled scorpion at Carmine's on Penn. No, it wasn't on the menu. The manager at the time brought in a bottle of tequila with a little scorpion in it, so I poured it in my mouth and crunched it a few times. We were drunk -- it seemed like a fun idea at the time.
Most memorable meal you've ever had: Dinner at Coyote Cafe in New Mexico. What impressed me the most was the service; they were ten minutes late seating us, but the way they handled the delay was absolutely amazing. It wasn't over the top or gushy, but they treated us with a great deal of respect -- and they had a way of making us feel special.
Favorite childhood food memory: Eating lunch with my family on our boat in Michigan, watching my mom and grandma make holiday rolls, and my dad making hot chocolate over the campfire on family camping trips.
Favorite junk food: Popeye's. I love the biscuits -- I always get two -- and their fried chicken is perfectly cooked.
Favorite food city in America: It comes down to Chicago or Portland, but I'm going with Chicago, which is so diverse in its culinary offerings, plus I got my first sous-chef job there.