Current Position: Chef and CEO
Company Affiliation: High Road Craft Ice Cream, Inc. Social Handle For More from Chef Schroeder: @highroadcraft
RestaurantWare Interviewer: Explain your food philosophy in 10 or fewer words
Chef Schroeder: I am here to pay attention, learn, and share.
RestaurantWare Interviewer: What is your most unique attribute as a food professional?
Chef Schroeder: I can improvise quite well, and so I’ve been recognized as being very responsive to customer needs.
RestaurantWare Interviewer: Explain the most innovative event you’ve ever thrown or dish you’ve ever created.
Chef Schroeder: My “Vanilla Melt” has been a huge hit this year — Grafton Cheddar and Apple Butter on Brioche, Grilled, and used as the “bun” for a Vanilla Fleur de Sel Ice Cream Sandwich. We roll it in cinnamon sugar to finish. It’s delicious.
RestaurantWare Interviewer: What is the most underrated kitchen product or food item?
Chef Schroeder: Bottarga. It’s salted, pressed (usually) Mullet roe. It should be in everyone’s kitchen.
RestaurantWare Interviewer: How do ecofriendly considerations enter your decision making process as a chef or caterer?
Chef Schroeder: We keep it simple by using recycled paper cartons to package our products. We’re a fairly low-impact manufacturer, where waste is kept to a minimum. Of course, whenever quality benefits, we use locally sourced ingredients. Chefs have done this forever, though. I think it’s the grocers that have jumped on board to leverage what’s been a historic norm in foodservice.
RestaurantWare Interviewer: RestaurantWare is about providing a stylish presentation for food, explain your approach to plating and tablescapes.
Chef Schroeder: I present the food simply, without a lot of decorative “moves” — spoon smears, droplets, painted plates, etc. I think a lot about making things easy to eat. I choose tableware that helps highlight the ingredients and the techniques used.
RestaurantWare Interviewer: List one tip that you would give to a DIY entertainer or at home chef who might need some professional inspiration to take a gathering to the next level.
Chef Schroeder: Don’t over-think it, and keep the menu simple. One appetizer, passed. One appetizer, placed. One salad or soup. One entree. A family-style dessert. Prepare things that hold warm quite well. It’s hard to entertain and cook like a restaurant chef at the same time. Remember that you’re entertaining to enjoy your company, not to be on stage.
RestaurantWare Interviewer: What is the BEST thing you’ve eaten recently?
Chef Schroeder: I roasted a bone-in rib of beef from Heywood’s, a butcher in Marietta, Georgia. It was the single-most beautifully aged piece of beef I’ve ever experienced. I have immense respect for people who are dedicated to their craft, and the gents at Heywood’s are amazing.
-By RestaurantWare’s CMO Jamil Bouchareb, follow the RestaurantWare brand on Twitter: @bambooware