Jeff Kraus Reveals His Science-Nerd Side and Explains Why He Admires Eliot Wexler

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

See also: Jeff Kraus' Crêpe Bar: A Decidedly Different (and Delectable) Take on the Crepe

This is part two of my interview with Jeff Kraus, chef-owner of Crêpe Bar. If you missed part one, read it here.

Describe a meal you'll never forget and why: In France, Erin and I walked in on a family meal (the French eat stupid late) and immediately realized the restaurant wasn't open. We apologized in a broken, bad American-French language and the chef/owner instantly stopped our rambling and seated us. He followed up with a pigeon terrine and menus.

Most over-rated ingredient: "Belly"

Most under-rated ingredient: hydrocolloids [obscure starches and proteins that chefs such as Wylie Dufresne of WD-50 use to create new ways of cooking].

Weirdest (or worst) thing you ever ate: A live goldfish from a muddy fish tank for $5 - the worst sushi ever!

Something always found in your kitchen: Whippers, N2O (nitrous oxide) cartridges and scales.

Something always found in your fridge: Simple syrup, fresh-squeezed citrus and eggs (Eye of the Tiger theme song playing in my head right now). And gin in the freezer.

Pet peeve in the kitchen: Small talk, messiness, tardiness, and fear.

Why crepes?: So many things haven't been done with them; they give me the most range of exploration. Where did you get your crepe recipe?: It started from a workshop I took in Portsmouth NH. I improved upon it based on scientific data from McGhee's and Hervé and made it my own with a lot of trial and error.

Phoenix needs more: Southern-style cooking.

Name a culinary mentor and explain what you learned from that person: The Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show. I learned actions speak louder than words and that passion is greater than grammar.

Name a chef/restaurateur you admire and explain why: I appreciate Eliot Wexler at Noca and Josh Hebert at Posh because of the amount of heart they put into creating a 'flavor' that is genuinely theirs.

Last meal on earth: Chips & dip, steak frites and an espresso ice cream with Nutella. Drinks from a gin mix master serving an array of cocktails.

How would you like to be remembered?: As someone who inspired others to find themselves and their calling; for being a creator, entertainer, and provider and for being the leader of the pack. "Get your motor running, head out on the highway . . . . " (Rural and Elliot!).

Enjoy this Chef Salad? Check out Nikki's previous interviews with: Jeff Kraus of Crepe Bar Bernie Kantak of Citizen Public House James Porter of Petite Maison Johnny Chu of SoChu House Neo Asian + Martini Bar Stephen Jones of Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails Chris Gross of Christopher's Restaurant and Crush Lounge Chris Curtiss of NoRTH Arcadia Payton Curry of Brat Haus Mark Tarbell of Tarbell's Josh Hebert of Posh Kevin Binkley of Binkley's Restaurant Lori Hashimoto of Hana Japanese Eatery Larry White, Jr. Lo-Lo's Fried Chicken & Waffles

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.