|Credit: Mason Dixon Master Chef|
Chef Dyson finds inspiration in classic Americana dishes, reinforcing them with French technique, and fresh ingredients. He is most proud of cooking roasted apple and fig tarlets with proscuitto and duck confit.
Jessica Lemmo: Did you cook growing up?
Tim Dyson: I did cook growing up to an extent, my mother has worked in the food service industry for as long as I can remember. I remember on occasion her pulling me out early from school to help her out (don't tell my dad).JL: What made you decide you would become a professional cook?
TD: I didn't really decide to become a professional cook until the end of high school, let's just say the lifestyle of late nights and the chaos of a busy weekend night seemed pretty badass at the time (I have since realized that unlike a cook a chefs day starts way before three in the afternoon and if a weekend is chaotic something is going horribly wrong).JL: Where you were trained and how difficult was your training?
TD: That didn't really start until I shipped myself off to culinary school. I had a less than perfect record in school up to this point and I told myself I was going to really apply myself at this. I went to the Pennsylvania culinary institute in Pittsburg. I loved my school. The first day they told us to go out and get a job, because without this we would miss a large part of what we would be doing for the rest of our careers. The job I settled in was in a southern French restaurant named cafe allegro under chef Joseph Nolan. Coming back to the Baltimore area I popped around working at many different restaurants, country clubs, and catering facilities.JL: Would you do it again?
TD: Would I do it again... I think so. Once the fog settled from leading a life as a partying hardcore line cook, my work has had a great influence over who I am today. I love and I hate what I do at the same time. No one likes to work every weekend and every holiday or to work fourteen-hour days, but it is a part of me. The brief times in my career that I wasn't working crazy hours I don't feel right. In one of these stints a close friend remarked that I looked like a soldier without a mission.JL: What is the best part about the job?
TD: Best part of the job is the feeling of pulling out of a situation that seems impossible.JL: Best piece of advice you would give a home enthusiast?
TD: Keep it simple, and buy freshJL: Best cooking tip for a novice?
TD: Buy real cookbooks, old culinary textbooks - just because some donkey got a book deal doesn't mean that the recipes were tested.JL: Favorite kitchen gadget?
TD: Calculator - For me, cooking professionally is a business first and foremost. Martha Stuart could cook you a beautiful dinner it doesn't mean she can balance food cost and run a restaurant.JL: Favorite food to cook with?
TD: Duck - I just love it.JL: Your favorite cookbook?
TD: My favorite cookbook is the complete James beard. I love the way he writes about food in an honest personable way.JL: What’s your favorite music to play in the kitchen?
TD: My favorite music to play in the kitchen changes all the time. When I am not in the kitchen playing music is my hobby. Right now I am stuck on new wave stuff and the Fixx's Reach the Beach has been in more than heavy rotation.SoBo Cafe
6 West Cross Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
For more info: you can subscribe to email notices, email me at AIBR.Blog@gmail.com, find me on Facebook or follow me on twitter @BmoreRestaurant