Chef Paul Lindsay of La Grande Orange, Part Two

Chef Paul Lindsay of La Grande Orange, Part Two
Lauren Saria

Yesterday we shared the first part of our talk with LGO chef, Paul Lindsay. Today he fills us in about the company's new venture, Jose Roux, and why he loves working at the Arcadia Room.

Jose Roux
I've been fortunate. I started a Chelsea's and then two months ago I got transferred down here. I'm the chef of Arcadia Room and also, we have a venture in the airport that I helped open. I'm sort of the operator now and there's another chef so he and I run that too.

It's not crazy Mexican food; it's pretty simple and straightforward. But you get a lot of bang for your buck, if you will. We're actually in the process right now of going through the whole recipe book, we want to take it up one more level because our approach in the beginning was very simplistic--we didn't really know how it was going to go. So we're in the process right now of going through the recipe book and tweaking the entire menu.

Find the rest of our talk after the jump.

The challenges
It's strange because the airport is basically its own city. A company runs the airport, staffs it, everything. They are the landlord, if you will. The city of Phoenix would be like vice president and then the TSA, in a weird way, would be the president. So it's really unique because it's like, "I'm just going to hand this to you. Watch it for me and I'll be back in three weeks to see how its doing." Like, "Here's our recipes, here's our conceptual idea." We did spend three weeks training, but it's up to them. We're not there everyday where within five seconds we can make or break a guest's experience. There it's sort of up to them. It's pretty challenging in that respect, but we're definitely in a good spot right now.

The Arcadia Room
The beauty of [it] is that if you love an appetizer from LGO and you love an entrée from Chelsea's, don't have to choose...I mean, we do have our own menu but we wanted to be open to any and all suggestions. In that way it's a pretty unique experience and it's a pretty unique venue; it's a very raw space. You can morph it into anything, which I think is really cool and very untraditional in that sense. We do everything from pharmaceutical conferences to weddings, birthdays, everything under the sun we do over there.

Which do you prefer?
There's likes about both. I like over there because I don't carry any food. If there's no event, there's no food in the building so everything is fresh, everything is current and a lot times the guests are just like, "Do whatever you want." So it gives me a creative outlet; I get to fly solo over there. I do have staff that I use and I wouldn't be successful without them...but I don't know, you don't get the buzz of the restaurant which I think all chefs love and you sort of miss when you're not around. I don't get that, but I basically get a clean palette everyday I walk over there.
Jose Roux is also cool. I got to develop the recipes with the owner of the company, so it was really cool to literally go from nothing and create this thing in just a couple of weeks. It's very, very satisfying professionally to create something. I mean at the end of the day, that's why we're all in it.

Tomorrow we'll be bringing you Chef Linday's recipe for crispy lobster, pesto chicken, and braised short rib sliders.

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