Chef Chat: Kelly Fletcher of House of Tricks (part two)

Yesterday we heard from Chef Kelly Fletcher of House of Tricks. Today the conversation continues.

While House of Tricks' staple dishes are sticking around, Fletcher says he would like to see a few new ingredients on the menu. "I always want to see more offal, more sweetbreads, more tongue and things that maybe a lot of people in the US aren't seeking out yet, or respond poorly to. Here, we eat with our heads and not with out mouths and sometimes it's hard to persuade people to just try things."

Today, Fletcher talks about his kitchen crew, summer menu and why he thinks you shouldn't go to culinary school.  

Most Valuable Kitchen Tool: My sous chef, whose nickname is Hambone. In the kitchen, you have to have someone you can absolutely trust and rely on. He definitely gives me that comfort level where I can not come in to the restaurant and not worry about things going badly. 

Advice: Don't go to culinary school. I think that people get caught up in the Food Network showy bullshit and then they just jump in. And then $70,000 later, they're making $8 maybe $9 an hour in a kitchen for their first few jobs. Get a job in a restaurant and find out if it's something you even enjoy first before you find yourself in debt saying "Shit, I hate this job."

Social Media: For one, I love Facebook. I think it has totally changed how we market and communicate as restaurants. I'm friends with Postino, Crudo, District Kitchen... If I have 400 friends, I can make an impression on 400 people instantly by uploading a photo or creating an event. I think it's brilliant.

Next in the kitchen: I'm working on a summer menu, which should be coming out very soon. And I think it'll be really exciting. I keep telling my guys in the kitchen that they're going to hate me after this one. But that's all we can keep doing; we have to challenge ourselves and challenge people who come in to try new things.

(This was part two of our Chef Chat with Kelly Fletcher of House of Tricks. Check out part one and stay tuned for a recipe tomorrow.)

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