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I have always loved food; it has been a passion of mine for years. This passion has led me to interview chefs, bakers, restaurant owners and most anyone involved in the food and beverage industry. Food preparation is an art, and those of us who can appreciate this, should share it.
Recently I was able to talk to Chef Bob Derian. Chef Bob Derian is a graduate of the prestigious Johnson & Wales University. He is a winner of the American Culinary Federation’s Chef of the Year award. He was given the “Master of Taste” award by National Chefs in America Foundation. He was also the Team Chef for the 1996 U.S. Culinary Olympic Team. His current culinary title is executive chef at RaceTrac Petroleum, a chain of gas station and convenience stores. His goal is to bring high-quality ingredients and refined flavors to the masses.
Rebecca: How can I make an “on the go” lunch more exciting for my kids?
Chef Bob: Involve the kids in the process! Provide them variety, almost like a bento box of sorts. Think social food that they can eat while engaging with classmates. Lunch is a social time for the children, so keep it simple. Think, eat and talk.
Rebecca: It seems that chefs are starting to break tradition in where and how they are cooking these days. What are your thoughts?
Chef Bob: As you age, you start to think outside the box. Working in this “corporate” type of an environment, as opposed to a restaurant, I find that I have a greater reach. Also, I find that I can bring more ideas to the forefront.
Rebecca: Let’s talk flavors! What is your process in creating new flavors?
Chef Bob: Once you have an understanding of how flavors work, and how they work TOGETHER, you can actually visualize the flavors in your head. Its almost like I can taste them in my mind. I use this knowledge and understanding as I am writing and creating ideas.
Rebecca: What are you working on now?
Chef Bob: We are working on two new dishes. One of them is a turkey club on a pretzel roll, the other is a southwest turkey sandwich. Both will be loaded with amazing flavors like chipotle sauce and much more.
Rebecca: Where can we find more information on your work?
Chef Bob: Head on over to RaceTrac and check us out!
Growing Up Bronx