Raleigh, N.C. — The Fire in the Triangle finale is Monday night, so we wanted to take one last opportunity to get to know the members of each team.
Here's what James had to say:
Chris Santucci has been working at Midtown Grille since 2010. When he started, we noticed how organized he was for a young, inexperienced cook. As we got to know him and his work ethic, the term OCD, which in the kitchen world is a good quality to have, started to come to mind. I notice how some of the things that young cooks have trouble grasping seemed to come naturally to him. The interest he takes in how cooking works, the nuts and bolts of cooking, is, I think, the reason why he has moved forward so fast in our kitchen. His passion for doing all things properly and understanding of the subtle nuances in preparing our food is beyond his years. He competed with us last year in Fire in the Triangle and shares the same desire as I do to rock the red jacket. As my sous chef, I have a sense of comfort knowing he is watching over the bulk of daily operations in the Midtown Grille kitchen. Chris understands my style and the thought I put into food, making our ability to creat food in this high pressure event less stressful for me. In other words, I can't do it with out him. A.K.A. Culinary thunder buddies.
Jeanne Sutherin has been blessing us with her abilities since March. Bringing a much needed feminine aspect to our uber macho kitchen team. As I continue to learn about my self from an overall restaurant management perspective, I have recognized my short comings and the complete lack of discipline that it takes to be a strong pastry chef. Enter Jeanne - the strong minded savor of our dessert menu at Midtown. Her aggressive approach to stock piling our desert options from the get-go has changed not only our bottom line but gives us a new dynamic personality on our team. Versatile and full of vigor, I could not see us in the final without her. The great part is we are competing for the red jacket and she has yet to break out "the big guns."
Midtown is facing off against Flights in the Fire in the Triangle final Monday night. Out and About will have complete coverage of the winner on Tuesday morning.