Cafe Society

Part two: Chef and Tell with Alex Seidel from Fruition

This is part two of Lori Midson's interview with Alex Seidel, the executive chef-owner of Fruition You can read the first part of Midson's interview with Seidel here.

Proudest moment as a chef: Taking our entire staff of 21 people from Fruition to Portland, Oregon, for a food and wine trip. I'd been taken on culinary research and development trips in the past and learned so much from others throughout my career, so it made me feel really good to introduce my staff to a part of the country that's so well known for quality-produced food and wine. Portland was the city where I began to focus on my culinary profession -- and years later, I was fortunate enough to share those experiences with my Fruition family.

Favorite ingredient: Is pork an ingredient? Good, because I love pork. I like to use every cut, because they all provide so much versatility to so many aspects of cooking. I think sometimes my menu can be a little offensively pork-centric to some: pork belly on this dish, bacon with that dish, pancetta with that other dish.

Most overrated ingredient: Caviar. I appreciate that there are many different kinds of caviar, and I've tasted high-quality caviar from all over the world, but to pay a couple hundred dollars for an ounce of fish eggs? Only to have it disappear in a couple bites? Ridiculous.

Favorite local ingredient: Wild arugula. The Italian variety is known as Sylvetta, and it thrives in the wild at Fruition Farms. It's tender and has the most intense flavor of any arugula I've ever tasted -- and I say that without bias.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson