We sit down with Executive Chef Micky Kearns in this ongoing series behind the scenes at H&C!
H&C: Hi Chef! Can you give us some of your background and philosophy on cooking and food?
MK: Absolutely. My first culinary instructor was my Grandmother. I was always around in the kitchen growing up. My philosophy on cooking and food, in general, is to do as little as is necessary to the food itself to elevate (it). Food, itself, it has an inherent nobility. And if you’re able to stay out of its way and do as a cook what’s necessary (to elevate it in some way) without getting in the way of the food itself, you come out with a beautiful product.
How do you define Mac & Cheese?
MK: Well, I mean, it depends on what area of the world you’re standing in I’m sure. But, for me, mac & cheese is something that, um, is kind of like a hug from the inside out. It’s going to be made with a quality pasta, really fresh, natural ingredients, and, which is true of all my food, is not going to contain anything that doesn’t need to be there.
Why does mac & Cheese resonate with so many people?
MK: I think it’s one of the first things we begin to enjoy as kids, and, uh, you know, well before (Kraft) and the blue box (1937, by the way-Ed) and 52 cents per on the stores shelves our grandmas and nonnas and our loved ones were making this beautiful dish out of things like cream and cheese and love. And it’s one of those things that really harkens us back to those moments in our lives, and food has a way of making memories for us that really last a lifetime. I think Mac & Cheese, as a dish, is one of those anchor elements that really make those food memories for us. So, in terms of comfort food, what can be more comforting than a delicious bowl of Mac & Cheese?