Cafe Society

Samuel McCandless, chef de cuisine at the Squeaky Bean: "Start with the best and end with something even better"

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Favorite dish on your menu: It varies a lot, but right now, it's a red-beet dish with charred green-garlic yogurt, blood-orange jam, caramelized cocoa nibs, and almonds roasted in coconut oil with Aleppo peppers.

What dish would you love to put on your menu, regardless of how well it would sell? If I like it, I'd put it there no matter what. The more we grow, the more we will know about things of this nature.

Weirdest customer request: "I'm vegan but want chicken." Yeah. Okay. If you have a sincere request, any honest food-service person is happy to go out of their way to accommodate you. But if you're a complete jackass and don't even know what you're requesting, that's a whole other story. Yes, there's a difference. I live to make people happy when they go out, and I'll always go above and beyond, unless the request is absolutely ridiculous. I have to make sure the other guests are satisfied first.

What's your biggest pet peeve? Dirty cooks who whistle and drag their feet.

Your best traits: Attention to detail. Dedication.

Your worst traits: Attention to detail. Dedication.

Which talent do you most wish you had? Better marketing skills. I'm not able to sell myself. At all. I wish I knew how to self-promote, but I don't.

Last meal before you die: Hard question, but I wouldn't mind having Alice Waters cook for me. Her sourcing is so special, and something pure along those lines would be nice.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson

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