Tom Begnaud of Town Talk Diner: Chef Chat, part 2
Today we continue our talk with Tommy Begnaud, chef at Town Talk Diner, who recently unleashed a revamped menu full of scrumptious selections reflecting his roots in home cooking. Begnaud started at Town Talk four years ago, fresh out of culinary school, and worked his way up to top dog. Prior to his days at Town Talk he built golf courses, a profession that he is happy to have left behind to create heavenly fare. You can read Part 1 of our conversation here.
What are your favorite selections on the new menu? The Wild Acres Fried Chicken is a must-try. We soak it in buttermilk, use rice flour and house-made seasoning for the batter, and serve it with a honeydew slaw. And the Watermelon Salad made with crab meat, herbs, and ricotta cheese is my second favorite.
What is your favorite cookbook? The Joy of Cooking, Professional Charcuterie, and The Momofuko Cookbook--all of those, really.
What are your best culinary tips for a new cook? Experiment with ingredients with which you are not familiar. Buy fresh. Go to the farmer's market, get fresh produce. Try a different technique with the same ingredients. If all else fails, follow a very good recipe.
What are your favorite Twin Cities restaurants other than your own? Fine dining would be Restaurant Alma, and value restaurant would be Sea Salt--best catfish po' boy north of the Mason-Dixon.
If you could cook for one person, dead or alive, who would it be? I most enjoy cooking for friends and family. I prepared, in my parent's kitchen, Christmas dinner this past year. My four brothers and I drank wine in the kitchen, perhaps laughing too much and not paying attention while I was supposed to be preparing to flambé the sauce, and my mother kept screaming about the fire in the kitchen. Well, maybe I don't really enjoy them that much.
Come back tomorrow as we conclude our chat with Tom Begnaud of Town Talk Diner.
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