Usually you can find Chef Tony Meyers hard at work feeding the denizens of Northwest Portland hearty, high class plates of rustic Italian, Pacific Northwestern and Mediterranean grub at longtime Northwest 21st Avenue stalwart Serratto. But this August he’ll head out to Viridian Farms with chef and fellow Northwest 21st Avenue cooker Dustin Clark, who mans the kitchen at Wildwood, for a P&P dinner with Van Duzer Vineyards. First, though, the Placerville, California native (who actually grew up helping his dad raise livestock) took the time to clue Almanac readers in on a few of his favorite things…including very sharp knives and ’80s hair metal.
What’s the first food you remember loving as a kid? I’d probably have to say my grandmother’s lasagna.
What edibles are you growing in your own home garden? We got a late start this year, but I have tomatoes, kale, summer squash, heirloom carrots, peas, raspberries, strawberries, melons and herbs.
What’s your most trusted piece of kitchen equipment? A sharp knife. You really can’t do anything right or efficiently with a dull knife.
What’s you most disturbing guilty pleasure food? Anything fried, or a microwave bean and cheese burrito–with the added works, of course (cheese, salsa, sour cream and jalapeños).
Most tried and true hangover cure? Breakfast burrito with a red beer.
Favorite band/artist to listen to while cooking? Anything ’80s hair metal.
Most disturbing kitchen-related injury? A nasty oil burn down my whole arm. Someone thought it would be a great idea to heat about two cups of oil in a sauté pan and put it back on the shelf with the others, needless to say when I got back on the line and went to fire a check, I grabbed that pan and the oil came pouring down, coating my arm from wrist to elbow.
What would you eat for your last supper? A simple grilled ribeye with an heirloom tomato and sea salt.
What food/farm-related issue are you most passionate about or gets you really steamed? I’d have to say quality meat. I think it’s best to keep livestock and game just the way they are, and not pump them full of garbage to speed up the growth rate and quantity.
What vegetable or fruit deserves more respect or love in your opinion? Every fruit and vegetable are all special in their own way. It’s like choosing between your children! Can’t do it.
Why are you cooking at Plate & Pitchfork? It’s a great concept and event. I’m always up for new opportunities. Cooking outside for that many people in a farm environment is my idea of the perfect kitchen.
Complete this sentence: “If I weren’t a chef I’d be… a very bored and miserable person. ”
GO: Chef Tony Meyers cooks at Viridian Farms with Wildwood’s Chef Dustin Clark at a dinner featuring wines by Van Duzer Vineyards. 5 pm Saturday, Aug. 25. $125 per person. Details and reservations here.
Photos courtesy of serratto.com.