THE CHEF – Scott Straud

Jethro’s BBQ ‘n Jambalaya

By Eleni Upahchef

Q: How long have you been cooking?
A: I started cooking when I was 14 at Sheffield’s Deli, right here in West Des Moines — I grew up here — and haven’t looked back since. So that’ll be 17 years in kitchens. I love the simplicity of completing that task and seeing people enjoy it.

Q: What is your favorite dish to prepare?
A: We do a lot of Cajun dishes, which we just revamped within the last six months. We had a couple dishes, we added on a couple new ones — really fun, exciting stuff: gumbo, etouffe, jambalaya. We do a hush puppy shrimp that I love. That’s my new favorite.

Q: What do you do in your spare time to de-stress from work?
A: A couple weeks ago, I deleted Facebook, and I think that was the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It’s just kind of opened up my eyes to focusing on what’s important, spending time on things that really matter versus who’s liking what.

Q: Why should people eat at Jethro’s Jambalaya?
A: I don’t work at places for any other reason than I really like them. I used to come here, and it just blew me away how quickly the food came up and how consistent it was. I think people love that because there’s so many variables in cooking that you could come in and order the same thing at certain places 10 times and it could come out different 10 times. Whereas here, and at Jethro’s in general, we deliver. We’ve been doing this a long time.

Q: Do you have any cooking tips for customers?
A: You know, it blows me away now to walk down an aisle and see all the gadgets and toys and things. You need a cutting board and a knife; you don’t need all that junk cluttering up your kitchen. Keep it simple, both in your equipment and what you’re preparing.

Q: Have you ever used coffee in your own recipes?
A: Oh, yeah, for sure. Rubs and then barbecue sauces and brines make a really interesting kind of a way to put flavor into meat before you cook it and to keep it moist. I’ve definitely used that on like ribs and pork shoulder. RELISH

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Categories: The Chef

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