Food For Thought With Jason Kallert
For the summer ’18 season we’ve teamed up with Jason Kallert of KHS Hospitality to create a light, worldly menu that caters to our relaxed poolside atmosphere. Jason’s recipes have been cultivated over the years from his tenures at Scarpetta Restaurants, Char Steakhouse and The Friars Club, and feature the freshest local and seasonal ingredients from land and sea. Read on for our exclusive interview with him!
Do you think cooking is an art or a science?
That’s a very good question. I will always teach cooks the way a piece of food, whether it be a steak, fish, carrot, or a legume, cooks, is a very scientific process. The way the molecules move and expand/contract, the reasons why a steak needs to rest after it is cooked. So technically, yes, cooking is a science, but creatively, as in how different flavors are put together, then it’s an art. So I guess it’s a bit of both.
Do you have a favorite dish on the menu you created for the MBH?
The Montauk Scallop Ceviche is the perfect dish for summers in the east end. The fresh diver scallops will come out of Montauk fresh every day, and then get mixed lightly with fresh orange juice, extra virgin olive oil and some fresh fennel pollen, with some watermelon radish added for crunch. A great light dish to eat in the summer and chase with a glass of dry white wine.
Do you listen to music while you cook? If so, do you have a go-to genre?
This is a funny question. I love music, I listen to a lot of music, mainly alternative metal and heavy metal. I’ve spent a lot of time at shows all over the country as I have a friend in the music business, but one thing I have always been persistent about was no music playing in the kitchen. Of course at outdoor BBQ’s and maybe at home on a Sunday it’s fine, but at work, where guests are paying a lot of money for their experience, cooking needs to be taken much more seriously and part of that is the staff communicating properly, that can’t happen with music playing. But the Beach house is a fun outdoor BBQ, so music will be ok there!
They say “you are what you eat” – if this is true, which food/dish would you be?
I’d have to say a lemon, I’m pretty sour to work for, very serious, but needed in a lot of places. If that makes sense..
It certainly does, well put! Who is your dream dinner guest and why?
Ozzy Osbourne, he is the true pioneer of heavy metal music. (I can just hear all the Led Zeppelin fans, don’t care).
Haha – starting some controversy here! What is your favorite thing about cooking?
My favorite thing about cooking is that you don’t need recipes. If you practice good technique and know how to taste and put certain foods together, you can make something taste good out of any product. It’s not always about having the best quality products or sourcing “only the best.” Most places in the world won’t ever see the quality of products we have in the US, yet some of the most delicious foods come from these places, Brazil, Sao Paolo and Bahia, India, Goa, Thailand, North AND South. I see the value in a chef who can make remarkable food from amazing products, but remarkable food from every day quality products, is priceless.
What’s an ingredient you couldn’t live without?
I have to say olive oil, I use it in everything. Whether it be extra virgin or pure, Spanish or Italian, or even a blend, I’ll use it everywhere.