THE CHEF – George Formaro

Centro, Django, South Union Bread Café, Gateway Market & Café, Malo and Zombie Burger + Drink Lab

By Eleni Upah

How long have you been cooking?

My whole life! I used to bug my mom to hang out in the kitchen and help grate the cheese for the Sunday pasta, knead the dough for pizza and bread, etc.chef

What is your favorite dish to prepare?

I love to replicate recipes that have lined the bellies of many generations and collect old cookbooks. The more steeped in history the recipe is, the better. But if you want a single dish, it might be a tie with pizza, sandwiches, tacos, Ramen, fried chicken, biscuits and burgers.

What do you do in your spare time to de-stress from work?

Hang out in my cookbook library and read! Or cook. I like to do what I call my “nothing good happens after midnight kitchen.” It’s my late-night, after-work restaurant — invite only.

Do you have a favorite out of all your restaurants?

The one I eat at the most is Malo. I love the food and drinks. We try to capture the gritty street food experience in a contemporary setting. I’m insulted when people think that Mexican or Latin food has to be cheap. We are using quality, scratch, hand-made ingredients with chef-y technique inspired by today’s proud and sophisticated chefs of Mexican and Latin cuisine. I want to show that we can mix inspiration from street vendors and Grandmother’s kitchen with chef technique and quality scratch-made food that would make your Abuela proud.

What is your favorite dish on the menu?

We make and press the corn tortilla tacos to order and make hundreds of flour tortillas a day. Even for the burritos and enchiladas. Seafood enchiladas are my favorite dish. Or the pork confit carnitas.

What is your kitchen like at home?

It might be best described as the same as the inside of my head: tons of ingredients of all nationalities and spices. And it might look cluttered to an outsider, but I do know where any single thing is!

Do you have any cooking tips for your customers?

Follow technique religiously, and be whimsical with the actual ingredients in the recipe. Use the best ingredients you can find, and don’t waste your time cooking things that take longer to say than they do to eat. Simple can be great. RELISH

Tags: ,

Categories: The Chef

%d bloggers like this: