Over the next few months I’ll be posting a number of interviews – exploring the viewpoints and interests of SOHO staff and restaurant friends. If there’s anyone you’d like to see profiled, please let me know in the comments section!
First up, an interview with Jeff Haeger, SOHO’s sous chef. Jeff will celebrate his two year anniversary with SOHO this week, so it seems a fitting time to get his perspective on life in the kitchen.
You’ve come a long way from your first restaurant job washing dishes at Ruby Tuesday. Why did you decide to stay in the restaurant business?
I enjoy the controlled chaos of the kitchen. At some point, it becomes a game – to emerge from a busy night relatively unscathed is winning. Plus, I just love cooking food.
What is your biggest kitchen nightmare?
Not being prepared. It sets off this avalanche of problems. Then the controlled part of the chaos is gone. And, of course, there’s Murphy’s law, so if you’re not prepared the first customer will always order something that’s not prepped at all – and it’s downhill from there.
When you’re cooking for friends and family what’s on the menu?
Barbecue, particularly baby back ribs or pork shoulder. I love the simplicity of barbecue. I’ve really only thought of leaving cooking twice in my life and both times I ended up in barbecue restaurants – and stuck with the profession. So it’s one of my favorites.
What’s SOHO working on that you’re excited about?
In the industry there’s been a trend toward working with lots of local and farm fresh products. It will – and should – become the norm. I’m glad to say SOHO is part of this trend and often working with these types of ingredients.
Ok, it’s your last meal – what are you eating?
I would have a Cajun feast. Gumbo, shrimp etouffee, jambalaya, and banana cream pie. Yum.
Ready to try some of Chef Jeff's cooking? Then please join us at SOHO soon.