Nearly just about all of us have been to an event where we could enjoy a nice meal. During that time, have you ever thought about the staff who made it all possible? I’ll be honest, I never really thought about it until I started working for a catering company myself and saw the long hours and stress involved with the success. For better insight, I decided to interview our head chef, John Moon.
1. Who inspired you to be a chef? Justin Wilson is the one who inspired me. He is a famous Cajun chef and I watched him growing up. My grandmother and mom were also very big inspirations, they both prepared intricate meals and I enjoyed helping in the kitchen.
2. What advice would you give to a novice? My number one advice is to research and know what you are getting in to. Talk with chefs around the area, read articles, watch TV shows. If you do those three, you will find two things in common: long hours and hot kitchens. Sometimes, you will be caught in situations where you have to put in 100 hour weeks. Are you able to handle that? I actually bought myself a cot that I keep in the kitchen when I need an occasional power nap. It sounds crazy but it works and gets the job done.
3. Favorite foods to cook with? I love cooking with spices. Garlic adds flavor to any recipe and Asian spices are a game changer. I also love to fish and hunt. Being creative with seafood and wild game has always been one of my specialties as well. It’s more fun when I get to express my character through food.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Right now, all of my staff is trained to be versatile in the kitchen. Within the next five years, I want to focus more on special teams and management. Ideally, I would like one team to be solely for food prep and one team running the events with minimal supervision.
5. Favorite menu item? One of my favorite menu items is shrimp & grits. We can serve it as an appetizer or an entrée to give our clients options. I like to also create different styles of grits and roux.
6. How important is presentation? Presentation is just as important to me as quality. We take incredible pride in providing amazing food that not only tastes fresh and fantastic, but looks delectable.
7. What is one piece of equipment you couldn’t live without? Flat top grill. The staff uses it daily because of its versatility. It can be used to fry, grill, sear or sautee.
8. What do you enjoy most about being a chef? One thing I love about my job is the opportunity to be creative, expressive, and have fun all in one. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the satisfaction on a client’s face. Another reason, and one of the most cruical, is the flexibility that comes with it. My wife, Brandy, and I stay pretty busy with our careers. When we do get free time, we spend the majority of it with our two boys. Being a chef allows me to balance my professional life with my personal life and that’s important to me.
To see what guests have been saying, check out our website at www.beyonddetails.com. Also, please check out our menu at www.beyonddetails.com/menu. We cater an array of events and would LOVE to be a part of your next special event!