Dawn Drouillard, chef and owner of Fabulous Catering, is not your average chef. Formerly a singer in the bandInterstate Judy and currently singing with her husband Mike in That's What You Get (with the college radio hit "Breakfast Burrito,") Drouillard has a rocking style that has translated itself into her kitchen.
After moving to the Twin Cities in 1991, Drouillard began working at the Loring Cafe in its heyday alongside many of the Cities' most talented chefs, including Doug Flicker, Joan Ida, Lenny Russo, and Steven Brown.
Drouillard's restaurant work led to jobs as a private chef--one of her favorite gigs was on an offshore racing boat. She later found her calling as a caterer, first working as a freelancer for weddings and special events and eventually starting Fabulous Catering in 1999. Drouillard's plans include opening an event center with her partner Eden Fitzgerald.
Drouillard's travels have taken her as far away as Thailand and Central America, and these influences show in her cooking, yet her dishes are always infused with her unique style. Born in northern Minnesota and raised on the North Shore of Lake Superior, Drouillard's roots in Midwestern food culture run deep; her Grandmother, Lola, cooked in the resorts in the back woods of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Lola's fish cake recipe is one of Drouillard's most prized secrets, and no, she won't share it with you.
The Hot Dish had the opportunity to get to know Drouillard a little better in this three-part Chef Chat.
What do you consider the best food city in America? Los Angeles
What is your favorite music to cook by? Neil Young or AC/DC
What are the rules of conduct in your kitchen? It' my way, and it's my highway.
What is your favorite restaurant in America?. Hama Sushi, Venice Beach, California. Or else the Taco Wagon in the Home Depot parking lot off the 101 Freeway in L.A.
What was your most embarrassing moment in the kitchen? Making apple crumble with salt instead of sugar. Not delicious.
What is your favorite dish to cook at home? Tacos. Hands down.
What is your favorite dish on your menu? A Trio of Sashimi Cups, featuring ocean trout, ahi tuna, and halibut served in crispy won ton cups with a trio of tobiko caviar.
If you could put any dish on your menu, what would it be? Amazon River Paku Fish Ribs. Their season is very limited and I cannot get them as frequently as I would like.
What's your favorite knife? Global eight-inch chef's knife. I use it for everything.
What was your proudest moment as a chef? Catering the Republican National Convention without crying.
Tune in tomorrow for more of our conversation with Drouillard!