While enjoying a meal at Modmarket, it is not uncommon to catch a glimpse of our director of culinary operations, Chef Nate Weir, dashing about our kitchens. He quickly moves from station to station, grabbing a handful of red bell peppers here and a few sprigs of basil there. You can see his culinary wheels turning as he runs through different flavor profiles creating the next Modmarket fan favorite.
If anybody knows a lot about unique flavors and foods, it is Chef Nate. He grew up mostly in Haiti where his parents worked as missionaries. Unlike many American kids his age, he did not eat sugary cereals for breakfast or food that came out of a box. His parents always cooked at home using the fresh fruits, vegetables and meats available in their city. This is where Nate’s love of cooking began, and he carried it with him into college.
After graduating with honors from the Farm to Table program at the Culinary School of the Rockies in Boulder, Colo., Nate worked for well-known restaurants such as Sobo American Bistro and Salt the Bistro. Then one day he applied to a posting for a new restaurant in town in need of a recipe consultant. That restaurant was Modmarket. The next thing Nate knew, he was overseeing culinary operations for the concept and has been doing so ever since.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Nate and pick his brain about food, cooking and his favorite meal of the day – breakfast:
Q: What does real food mean to you?
A: Farm to table dining is simply all there is to me. It is the way I grew up eating and cooking. Food should be fresh, whole and unprocessed. Period.
Q: What is one of your favorite kitchen tools?
A: I love my Dutch oven. I use it to cook rotisserie chickens, braises, short ribs, all kinds of things. It is definitely a go-to tool that everyone should have.
Q: What brand of knives is your favorite?
A: New West KnifeWorks. They are American-made, funky and cool!
Q: What is your favorite meal to prepare?
A: After growing up in Haiti, one of my favorite, feel-good dinners to make is a traditional Haitian meal. It will have fried goat, rice and beans, and fried plantains…so good.
I also have a wood-burning smoker at home and tend to get pretty serious about my BBQ. I have been known to stay up all night smoking the meat to perfection. I end up smelling like a campfire when I am done, but it is worth it!
Q: What is your favorite meal of the day?
A: I like them all, but if I had to choose I would say breakfast. A healthy, solid breakfast gets you going in the morning, and it is something to look forward to the night before. You cannot go wrong with eggs, whole grain toast and some veggies. Throw in some quality bacon or sausage now and then, and you have a great breakfast. No matter how busy we get, breakfast is never a meal we should skip.