Brian McBride

One of America's best-known chefs talks to Time Out about steaks, late night snacks and New York's coolest restaurants.

Interview

Brian McBride guest chef at Manhattan Grill.

You’re one of the best chefs in America. How did you get there?
A long and varied career has brought me to where I am, but what I believe most is that honesty in cooking and service appeals to a wide swathe of hungry customers.

What was the last thing you ate?
It was goat’s cheese and bread, the ideal late night snack.

What are you going to have for dinner tonight?
Dinner tonight will be steaks on the grill, steamed asparagus and local mushrooms, eaten at home with the family. We cook outside a lot.

How would you describe your cooking style?
It revolves around sourcing the most pristine ingredients in season, from preferably local growers, and using cooking methods that bring out the true flavour of the principal ingredient. Brining, marinating, smoking, braising and roasting in a wood-burning oven are all part of the methods I use.

Highlight of your career so far?
The opportunity to travel and learn in so many cities and countries, including, so far, Singapore, Tokyo, Zurich, Berlin, Mexico, London, Argentina, to name but a few recent trips.

How will you adapt your cooking for Dubai?
I won’t. I have sent over recipes identical to what I use at the Blue Duck and we will try to serve them in the exact same way. I want to bring the US to the Emirates.

What specialities will you be offering Dubai’s diners?
Maryland-style crab cakes, bone marrow roasted with herbs, braised lamb hot pot, crab ‘mac-n-cheese’, to name a stove-ful.

Which dish do you enjoy cooking the most?
I always enjoy dishes that cook long and slow, like the lamb hot pot. Why? The flavours meld together as they cook, we can use many parts of the animal this way, and just having one pot cooking appeals to the domestic side of me.

Which other chefs do you admire?
I’d have to say Michel Richard, Alain Ducasse and Fergus Henderson, all great cooks with good business acumen and outside interests as well as a passion for this business.

If you weren’t a chef you’d be...
A forest ranger, I could definitely use the quiet time.

If you could cook in any restaurant, where would it be?
Nobu in New York, I would like to learn the techniques of this style of Japanese food presentation, raw as well as cooked.

If you could eat at any restaurant where would it be?
St. Johns in England. The restaurant truly epitomises nose-to-tail cooking, employing every part of an animal for use in the restaurant and working with growers to select the best heirloom items to grow for the table.

What makes a good restaurant?
In my opinion what makes a good restaurant is a strong concept that customers understand, and value for dollar, whether the menu items are 20 or 300 dollars – as long as the quest perceives good value for the amount of money paid, then there is success.

What makes a good chef?
A good chef is a good teacher, someone who stays current but has a strong point of view and shows dedication to his craft.

Favourite ingredient?
Foie Gras; with it the possibilities are simply endless.

Favourite gadget?
Pacojet. It’s a small machine with the ability to churn one serving of ice cream to order, as well as purée any raw ingredient into the finest of consistensies without any loss of colour at all.

It’s your last meal, what are you eating?
The freshest seafood roast at the beach, over open fires with my closest friends and family.

Chef Brian McBride of Park Hyatt Washington and the Blue Duck Tavern will be creating an à la carte menu and a four course set menu until May 26. Opening hours: Lunch 12:30pm – 15:00pm; Dinner 19:00pm – 23:30pm (Open until 01:00am Thursday/Friday). Grand Hyatt Dubai. Call 04 317 1234.

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