Tom Condron, Chef/Partner The Liberty Charlotte, N.C.
what kind of experience will guests have at
They will experience a taste of locally
grown foods, a fresh approach to simple
food prepared with a lot of care and food
that goes well not only with wine but with
beer. They will be able to meet the owners,
and try some incredible handcrafted beers.
what kind of food will they eat?
The food is seasonally inspired, and a lot
is locally raised, farmed and prepared. The
meats are grass-fed local (Proffitt Family
Farms, Kings Mountain, N.C.), the produce
comes from local organic farms and the
cheeses, chickens and eggs are local. The
food is inspired by the chefs of England who
first coined the word “gastropub” for the trend,
which is really good food in a casual setting.
how is the gastropub concept a winner in
It offers good value and good drink that
is affordable in a tough economic market,
served in a local place that is comfortable
what’s on your mind when you’re in the
What are the guests experiencing, and
are they having a good time. To meet my
guests’ expectations is not good enough. I
always want to create an experience that is
far above what they expect. I want them to
enjoy the total package of their experience.
Talk about using locally sourced ingredients.
Fresh, fresh, fresh. And keeping it
local keeps people employed and the
how do you balance bringing new dishes to
the menu and retaining customer favorites?
As a chef, you’re always trying new things,
and human nature likes consistency and
favorites. You have to sometimes take
small steps instead of what you really want
what do you look for when hiring for The
Passion. I can’t teach that in a cook or server.
what advice do you have for young people
coming into the business?
Learn your craft. It will take you years to
achieve. And don’t take yourself too seriously.
what gives you pleasure on the job every day?
The farmers at the back door. And the
markets. You meet a lot of characters, and
it’s never boring.
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