Culinary Quip: Chef Martin Huddleston Talks Trios of Flavors, Sunday Lunch & the Food Truck Trend
Chef Martin Huddleston, part of the Ovens Group, is used to wearing many hats, one being a toque, to help Manitowoc Foodservice clients. Chef Huddleston initially joined Manitowoc Foodservice team in August 2005 as part of the Lincoln team offering support to the culinary sales and marketing teams, while working with chain customers across a number of different cooking and holding platforms. In 2010, he expanded his responsibilities as a sales manager for the Ovens Group. He is now working with chain accounts and developing business for Lincoln, Merrychef, Convotherm and Garland. He is a professionally trained chef with certifications from the ACF (Certified Executive Chef and Certified Culinary Administrator) and NAFEM CFSP (Certified Food Service Professional).
Beginning his career in the foodservice industry, he focused on culinary and operations while cooking and managing in hotels, country clubs, catering and fine dining facilities. Chef Huddleston now uses his working knowledge and expertise from the years spent in a variety of operations to help his clients expand and grow their businesses.
"These stages of my career have always held common threads of culinary fundamentals, operations expertise and passion for excellence. In my current role, I strategically combine these skills to deliver equipment solutions to leading foodservice brands."
Q: Describe your favorite dessert. A: I love "trios" of flavors, textures and contrasts like S'mores. This item has always been a go-to for me and today you can see many variations of this classic across the country in virtually any foodservice setting. At home, I make an almond-spice lace cookie filled with homemade marshmallow and dark chocolate or I create S'mores "Fondue" by dipping marshmallow in different melted chocolates and coat with ground graham crackers and other crisp cookies. Fruit crumbles are another versatile dessert and favorite of mine. Summer berries tossed with citrus and vanilla-scented sugar and topped with crunchy granola and greek yogurt are a backyard mainstay at my house in the warmer months.
Q: What is your favorite or signature dish to prepare? A: Anything on the grill in the summer! But if I had to choose one dish, my family enjoys sitting down to roasted chicken with garlic, potatoes, bacon and vegetables, and fresh bread. The joy in this type of food is that I can bring in the season's freshest ingredients regardless of the time of year. Though the "Roasted Chicken Dinner" looks like our typical Sunday lunch, it always varies. I make my own seasoning salt. I might flavor the chicken with citrus along with complementary herbs. The potatoes, vegetables (along with the bacon!) and garlic get roasted either individually or together, depending on the varieties. Bread has to be part of this meal. Either a crusty sourdough loaf or a simple drop biscuit will do, whatever suits us that day. In keeping with my affinity for balance, I usually serve some form of a fresh vegetable and greens salad with vinaigrette to eat along with the meal. This dish may be finished off with molasses chocolate chip cookies or one of the desserts mentioned above.