With a new year ahead of us, we’re full of new ideas and changes. We’ve become more curious – especially about our food: pushing to connect to our roots again, striving to find the true origins of our ingredients and living life consciously with good energy all around. At Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen, Chef Rathbun transforms his food memories into his very own version of comfort cooking – where ingredients are seasonal, local whenever possible, and always crafted with the same kind of love and attention that mom would give you as a child.
This week for Sunday Brunch, Chef Jennifer Newbold and Chef Kent Rathbun share some of their top favorites at Blue Plate Kitchen. Top favorites include the Croque Madam with thinly shaved ham, crusty artisan bread, topped with two sunny side eggs and Mornay Sauce and Grandma Minnies Country Fried Chicken with blue corn waffles and maple syrup.
One of Chef Rathbun’s favorite memories began in the kitchen with his grandmother and mother – “Early on as a child, I’d just remember the smells of home cooking and the celebration of those kinds of dinners. Because my grandmother and mother would cook together, and I’m not kidding when I tell you they would get up at 5 am, cook breakfast for everyone, do the dishes and immediately star cooking lunch. And you know from where I come from, lunch was dinner and dinner was called supper. A lot of the plates from Blue Plate and Jasper’s are inspired by these memories”
At Blue Plate, they specialize in local farm to table foods, using seasonal ingredients to create plates that make you feel right at home.
“We look for locally grown and produced products that we can find and use purveyors like local herb farmers, 2 to 3 local cheeses, we also source with Chef’s Garden in Cleveland – the seasons serves as inspiration when it comes to creating our dishes mixed with our personal memories.”
“I grew up in Missouri and my grandmother had a great garden, and so the things we enjoyed the most were in season. Memories of good food for me really inspire me a lot and taking those memories and updating them with cool products and different purveyors and different techniques I’ve learned as a chef, then that takes it to a different level, which is a lot of fun. There are a lot of food on this menu, on Jaspers and on Abacus that have all been inspired by cooking with my father, cooking with my mother and grandmother, you know, their names are on the menu at some of the places,” said Rathbun.
Chef Newbold and Chef Rathbun are what you’d call purists. They want to make food that people crave by using the best ingredients they can find – “The better the ingredients we start with the more success we have and you have to do less to it. It’s the simplicity of how perfect the vegetables are and how fresh the fish is – less is more. Simple food is better always.”