Recess; Room Four
Describe the cuisine at Recess.
Less is more, simple can be complicated.
I try to use the best ingredients and let
them speak for themselves. Oftentimes,
the food on the plate looks simple, with
few ingredients and a clean, clear flavor.
However, each of those ingredients has
been properly cared for and cooked
perfectly. My goal is to find the quickest
and simplest way to take an ingredient from
raw form to just-cooked. I try to leave the
essence of each ingredient intact. I put a lot
of thought into what each ingredient is going
to bring to the experience. If it isn’t adding to
the sum, we leave it out.
What kind of experience will diners have at
It is called Recess for a reason. You are
going to have a relaxed, no-fuss dining
experience. The set menu changes daily,
with optional wine pairings chosen for each
course. We usually offer a four-course menu,
with one or two of the courses having a
choice. This allows guests to come in, leave
their bustling lives at the door, and just sit
down and relax. There is no three-page
menu to navigate. The other advantage of
this system is my ability to use each and
every ingredient available in the whole menu.
Each four-course menu is loaded with all the
best ingredients the market has to offer.
And, lastly, the service is unpretentious and
relaxed. The servers are knowledgeable and
professional, yet they are able to have their
own personalities in the dining room. There
is no uniform. They are free to wear whatever
they want. I want the guests to feel like they
are dining with family. I just don’t believe
that great food has to be served in a stuffy,
What's on the menu?
I am not afraid to throw something into the
mix that normal fine-dining establishments
wouldn’t typically serve. I don’t mind throwing
in a single taco or a small sandwich, or trying
to elevate a typically pedestrian comfort food
into a course. I like to pull ideas from many
cuisines and cultures. I also like to reinvent
favorites from my childhood—just add a
little professional cook’s twist. Food should
be fun and whimsical sometimes. I think it
explains the current trend of all the mobile
trucks serving street food. I just wish I could
get more people to eat with their hands. A
fork and knife aren’t necessarily always the
best utensils for the dish.
How does Room Four differ from Recess?
Room Four is my “chefs’ food room.” This is
where I serve all the things that chefs like to
eat when they are done with their shifts—big,
messy cheeseburgers, spicy, dripping
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