Ask the Chef

UnknownCourtesy of Tim Freeman
Tim Freeman of the United States is head chef at Soho Rooms.

Best dish
"I would say that I really enjoy working with fresh fish. The texture, flavor and aroma of fish is as unique as humans are."

Your restaurant's most popular dish
"It would be a toss-up between the black cod with peanuts and ginger, or Chilean sea bass with Japanese yams and coconut."

Favorite food
"I am a simple guy. My heart is in Texas, so I really like hole-in-the-wall places. I like barbecue, and must admit I love hot dogs. They are great when they are made from all beef, and have fresh toppings on them."

Favorite [other] restaurant in Moscow
"I really like Road House at metro Sportivnaya. It's a small place that has live blues and jazz every night."

Favorite [other] restaurant worldwide
"Morimoto in Philadelphia. He is my mentor, as well as one of the most respected chefs in the world. His style is New Japanese, blending Japanese technique with new styles."

Weirdest thing you've ever eaten
"The list is pretty long. I have tried fish brains, dog, cat and worms. Do you try to be authentic or adapt the cuisine to the local market? "I think the best food is authentic food. I think that sticking to the original taste and technique is vital in keeping with tradition. Too many chefs try to blend techniques and flavor, and in doing so lose the essence of the food, the true flavor. The greatest chefs and restaurants always keep it simple."

Comment on the state of the local dining scene
"It could be better. Purchasing products every day in Moscow has taught me that most restaurants here don't care about quality, they care only about the price."



Most important or surprising thing you've learned as a chef
"You must stay humble. Most people who work with me never know that I worked for Bill Clinton, that I worked with Wolfgang Puck in Beverly Hills. If you start letting these things go to your head it will really affect you as a person. Also you must be a teacher and leader. Set a good example for your employees; don't take any shortcuts."

Contacts

Morimoto,
723 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, (+1 215) 413-9070.

Road House (Dom U Dorogi),
8 Ul. Dovatora, 245-4183/5543, M. Sportivnaya.

Soho Rooms,
12 Savvinskaya Nab., Bldg. 8, 988-7474, M. Smolenskaya.