Jamie Malone of Sea Change: Chef Chat, Part 3
After growing up in St. Paul, she traveled the world before attending Le Cordon Bleu. After culinary school, she landed in the kitchen with Steven Brown at Porter & Frye. From there she bounced between Barrio and Sea Change before landing on the line under Sea Change's Erik Anderson. After Anderson garnered national attention and flew off to start his own kitchen, Malone filled in as chef. Despite a nationwide search, the powers that be discovered that the best candidate for the job was already in their kitchen. Now that she's taken over and settled in, she has worked to expand the sustainability of their products as well as the creativity of the menu.
Today in our final installment she tells us about an intriguing new dish on her menu, her fantasy dinner client, and where she likes to eat when not at work.
The dinner menu at Sea Change recently changed to include some new dishes of yours. Where did you come up with the idea for a pasta dish that smells exactly like a freshly opened bag of potato chips?
I saw it on a blog. Actually, they suggested toasting the potato flakes before buzzing them into the flour. It gives the noodles a great flavor and just a little extra chewiness.
Do you read a lot of food blogs?
I read some blogs, but mostly check our other restaurants' websites, read menus, but mostly I'd rather sit with a book than at a computer.
What are you reading right now?
I've been looking through Noma, Quay --this amazing restaurant in Australia. I've been re-reading Four Fish. I usually have books all over the place all marked in different spots.
Are there any new dishes on the menu that set themselves apart from previous menu items?
Well, there's a vegetarian item on the menu. That's the most sustainable way to eat.
The new menu is really seasonal--super seasonal, which I really like. Right now we're also using Pat's [of Wild Acres] ducks. There's another locally sourced item.
You've said that while cooking you think not just of the food but of your audience. If you could cook for anyone, who would you choose and what would you make?
When I'm cooking I'm always thinking "my technique, my technique..." I think I'd like to cook for Thomas Keller. It would be really cool to be critiqued by him.
Or some super silly meal for Jose Andres.
Have you ever eaten at the French Laundry?
No. I mean, we ate at Per Se in Las Vegas but... (shrugs). My husband offered to take me once and I said no. I kick myself now, but I just wasn't ready. I was just out of school... I wouldn't have appreciated it.
And now you're kind of busy.
Where do you and your husband go out to eat for date night?
Eli's. They have really good burgers--and somehow the waitstaff never seems to change!
Anything else going on at Sea Change that you'd like to tell us about?
We have a really cool happy hour--and we're open until 11. People should come check us out.
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