Culinary Quip: Chef Elliot reveals the top secrets of his culinary past and his passion for what the Combi's have cooking
Chef Bob Elliott attributes his culinary career to the early influence of his mother. "She was an excellent cook. Always making something and inviting me into the kitchen to help," says Elliott. Traditional comfort foods were her favorites and are now some of the staple items he prepares regularly including apple pie and chicken noodle soup. "My passion for cooking and food only grew as I got older and I knew it was going to be my lifetime career of choice before I ever graduated high school," mused Chef Elliott.
He was so committed to his goal to become a culinary chef that he decided to gain a little practical experience before starting his professional culinary training. Elliott decided to go to work for a popular independent Italian restaurant in Ohio. After a year of working there and reaffirming his beliefs, he joined the two-year culinary program at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Hyde Park. After graduating from the CIA and relocating to Cleveland, OH, he worked as a sous-chef at an upscale fine dining American restaurant. For the next 15 years or so, Chef Elliott continued to work in a variety of top restaurants and for top chefs in Cleveland.
He can attest to his exemplary pastry experience from working in a full production bakeshop for area restaurants and sweets for Jacob Field and Cleveland Browns stadium. Along with sweets, he also made fresh bread every day for Iron Chef Michael Simon, whom Chef Elliot helped part-time with catering and parties. "But after so many years of working in the traditional back-of-house I wanted a change. I had a chef friend who had heard about a job at Cleveland Range working with Convotherm Combi Ovens and Merrychef ovens. It sounded like a perfect fit for me." Currently he is one of the culinary chefs on staff for the newly formed Manitowoc Foodservice Ovens Group.
Q: Describe your favorite dessert? A: Cheesecake - vanilla bean. Simple and done the right way stands by itself.
Q: What Chef would you most like to have dinner and conversation? A: I would have to say Thomas Keller. He is such an innovator and at the forefront of the culinary world. I would want to discuss things like where or how do you get your inspiration. I also appreciate what he gives back to the culinary community. I was very fortunate to attend the Bocuse d'Or USA team competition in 2012 where I met and had pictures taken with him.
Q: What are 5 ingredients are staples in your kitchen? A: Salt, Pepper, Butter, Eggs, Flour. These ingredients are the basis for just about any food you can think of, from the simplest of dishes to the most complex.