ANDREA’S JOURNAL: The Story Food Tells

By mahir | February 24, 2011

By Andrea Bergquist

The story-telling behind food has been one of the most motivating factors for how we structured the menu at Red Rooster.

Almost every dish we serve has its own history and it always fascinates me.

For example, the Nuggets & Toast we serve at brunch – chicken served over slices of french toast – is a riff on the always popular Chicken & Waffles. There are so many stories about the origin of this dish, but my favorite one has its roots in music.

After a long night of playing sets, musicians would hit up the nearest restaurant or diner around 4am, where the kitchen would put together a plate of the waffles they were making fresh for breakfast and some leftover fried chicken from the night before.

A simple, and very delicious combo.

Our Dirty Rice is not the traditional kind but it was definitely inspired by it. Traditionally, dirty rice is a Cajun dish made using chicken liver and gizzards as the base because you needed to find uses for those organs rather than create waste.

Ours is dirtied with spices, not those typically tossed away parts of the bird.

During brunch, we serve Pyttipanna, Sweden’s answer to hash. With Marcus and Jimmy in the kitchen, it’s so easy to weave in the Scandinavian elements while offering our customers something different.

In Sweden, Pyttipanna is prepared by using leftovers and whatever else you have available.

Ours is a delicious mix of root veggies.

This is true for the origin, the story, behind many of our dishes.

While we, in the restaurant kitchen, take the time to carefully craft our recipes and procure ingredients, much of the inspiration comes from people’s innovation when they make do with what they have.

To me, it’s the best kind of inspiration.

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Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More


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