Chef Eric Harland – USA

Olathe, Kansas, United States

Name: Chef Eric Harland
Age: 43
Nationality: African-American
Country of Residence: USA

1. Your Restaurant/Business: My professional cooking business is MadPig BBQ, a competative cooking BBQ team.

2. About Your Kitchen: My kitchen is simple. I prefer to craft my dishes, by focusing on various tools that your everyday home chef could easily acquire or already has. Therefore, recreating my recipes can be easy for everyone.

3. Your Favorite Chef Works Item: The Urban Collection without a doubt. They not only match my personal cooking style, but they also provide the quality and comfort needed.

4. First Job: Working in my Aunt’s candy shop in Kansas City. That’s where I learned all the basics from food inventory to working a cash register. I can attribute a lot of my food creativity from the concepts I learned in candy making process.

5. Your Favorite Cookbook: A work in progress, it will cover all things smoke and the variations of what that aspect of cooking brings to everyday foods.

6. Your Awards: American Grilled 2014 Contestant; 2014 WFC Contestant Bacon Category; Avocados of Mexico 2nd Place Guac’N’Roll; KCBS Sanctioned BBQ Contest; 2011 Peoples Choice : Sides Dish.

7. Your Cooking Inspiration: Gordon Ramsay for his professional style and his simplistic look at cooking and Isako Poindexter (Mother-In-Law) for her Asian influence on everyday cooking.

8. Your Speciality Dish: Bananas Foster stuffed French Toast, served with Bacon & Egg Ice and a Maple Banana Rum reduction. In the BBQ world it’s competition chicken, a three day prep and cooking process for 6 perfect chicken thighs.

9. Favorite Dish To Eat: There is nothing like having a platter of crab legs, clams and scallops tossed with Andouille sausage, corn and potatoes in spicy citrus Old Bay crab boil mix.

10. Weirdest Thing You Ever Ate:  I have tried just about anything classified as “weird” however, I am still wanting to try the Durian Fruit.

11. Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: One of my specialties recipes is Bacon & Egg Ice Cream with a hint of Cinnamon. It has the right amount of vanilla bean, candied smokey bacon and caramel.

12. Favorite Drink: All things Rum, however my favorite would be the classic Mojito muddled with Japanese mint leaves or an authentic Caipirinha.

13. Favorite Wine: The 2011 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon because of its wide array of aromas and flavors including cocoa, cassis and vanilla.

14. Who Would You Most Like To Cook For: President Obama and the First Lady Michelle on their first day after taking office with a Snake River Farms Kobe Gold Ribeye steak and Lobster dinner for a job well done.

15. Who Would You Least Like To Cook For: Even Gordon Ramsay is my ‘cooking inspiration’, no matter what anyone says, he would still be intimidating to cook for, but I’m up for the challenge!

16. Favorite Things To Do When Not Cooking: Playing “Thomas the Train” with my son. Watching endless movies with my wife and attending my teenage daughters dance recitals.

17. Your Latest Project:  The MadPig “Mad@Hunger” food truck – a mobile food kitchen that will serve the homeless & local food shelters with good and healthy dishes, in partnership with a local medical center that will provide standard wellness checkups.

18. Favorite City and Why: Kansas City. It has laid back Midwestern hospitality coupled with a fast growing, diverse restaurant and foodie following. Above all it produces the best Pit Masters (BBQ cooks) this side of the Mississippi.

19. Your Greatest Indulgence: My iPad, crab legs, spices and rum… yeah, I love spices!

20. Your All Time Best Culinary Tip: Practice, practice and practice again, but more importantly keep it simple and do what you know.

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