Brian Crow's curiosity led him to the Devil's Food kitchen

The sixth of seven children, Brian Crow says his mom spent a lot of time in the kitchen, and he spent a lot of time in there with her. "I was just real curious about my mom's cooking at an early age," he says, laughing as he recounts the time he pulled the lid off the rice and got scolded for letting out the steam. Now chef de cuisine at Devil's Food Bakery & Cookery, where he's worked since 2011, the North Carolina native remains just as curious, both at work and at home.

"I get inspired when I go to the grocery store," says Crow, who cooks even on his days off. "I like to see what fish is the freshest, what meat looks the best, how the vegetables are looking, what's in season."

As a result, he adds, "my fiancée always tells me I take too long at the grocery store."

Find out how his curiosity translates to the plate when my review of Devil's Food is posted on tomorrow.

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Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz