BEHIND THE STOVE
10 Dishes With Chef Adam Biderman
The chef and owner of New Orleans’ Company Burger tackles our speed round of questions.
After a shift, what is your favorite guilty pleasure to eat? “A Budweiser and a big old bowl of cheese fries from F & M. We do cheese fries but we do compromise cheese fries, we do cheese sauce, which is great but I’m just not a cheese sauce guy. I grew up eating melted cheddar cheese on waffle fries.”
Is there one dish you won’t cook? “I personally don’t like to cook with a lot of cumin. But I’ll eat it.”
All-time favorite spice. “I use a lot of black pepper. It’s kind of boring but I love black pepper. We use a poultry spice mix at the restaurant of black pepper, allspice and fennel seed. I’d say that’s one of my favorite spice blends to use as well.”
What is your favorite music to listen to while you cook? “Metallica. Rage Against the Machine. A lot of upbeat hard stuff. I’m a huge Deftones fan. That’s probably my favorite band ever.”
Did you grow up cooking as a child? “I did. Both my parents, in their own way, are very successful cooks. My dad put himself through college for a few years as a short-order cook in Boston. And he’s the guy who could go somewhere on Friday and eat something and then on Tuesday make it almost verbatim at the house. And my mother fed us when I was a kid. She was a stay-at-home mom until she went back to get her social work degree. Now, she’s actually our pastry chef for the Company. She makes all the carrot cake and the brownies. Everything we do in that vein are family recipes and some are 100 years old.”
What cookbook is your go-to resource for inspiration? “I have a lot of cookbooks and I read a lot of cookbooks. I really like some of Andrew Carmellini’s cookbooks. I feel like I reference the Sqirl cookbook a lot.”
After all these years working in restaurants, do you still enjoy going out to eat? “100 percent. And I don’t do it as much as I used to, which is great because when I go out now to restaurants I’ve learned to really appreciate it so much more. We try to go out maybe twice a week, three times a week. There are so many great places to go here in New Orleans. When we travel it tends to be centered around where we’re going to go eat. I will always love going out to eat.”
Is there one chef you’d like to cook with? “David Kinch, the chef of Manresa and the Bywater in California. And Brad McDonald who is a local chef down here. I really respect him. He’s not cooking right now, he’s the F&B director at the Ace.”
Name the all-time best cooking show. “I grew up watching Ming Tsai and Martin Yan. And then, of course, Emeril.”
What is the one tool that you always make sure to pack when you’re traveling for business? “Honestly, I pack three knives, a pair of tweezers, a pair of tongs and a Thermapen. I can pretty much do anything with those three knives. But the thing I’ll never leave home without is my Kunz spoon. The spoon that Gray Kunz created. I collect them.”
Adam Biderman is the chef and owner of New Orleans’ Company Burger
Interview has been condensed and edited.