By Eileen Louissaint, Altima Contributing Writer
As Meat Market’s very own Chef Sean Brasel prepares to duel it out in the kitchen on the Esquire Network during Season 4 of Knife Fight, our team went behind the scenes to get the real dish on Palm Beach’s celebrity chef. (Watch the episode during a Special Happy Hour at Meat Market on Tuesday, November 17th. Limited Attendance, RSVP below.)
Born and raised in Colorado, Chef Brasel launched his career as sous chef at Cliff Young’s in Denver. He attended Madeleine Kamman’s School for American Chefs in Napa Valley and shortly after began his business as a restaurant consultant. Chef Brasel and his business partner, David Tornek, opened several restaurants in Denver before moving to Miami, Fla where they introduced two restaurant’s to the South Beach scene. Meat Market was created as a modern take on the classic American steakhouse, now raved about from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Miami and Palm Beach, Florida. Keep on reading to find out who Chef Brasel refers to as “Beethoven in the Kitchen”, what culinary trips he is planning next, as well as what to look forward to at Meat Market during the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival MIAMI TAKEOVER.
Altima: What dishes should guests look out for this season?
Chef Sean Brasel: Developing a new Dover Sole and adding a rotating Mixed Grill featuring exotic cuts of meat, working on some fresh salads featuring local farms.
Altima: Who do you look up to in your industry? Why?
Chef Sean Brasel: There are so many talented chefs and restaurateurs out there, I really can’t name just one, but if I was too I am in awe of the mastermind Grant Achatz. He is like Beethoven in the kitchen.
Altima: We read your bio on the Meat Market website where it states, “Brasel and Tornek focused much of their attention on bringing the American steakhouse into the 21st century with Meat Market.” What need did you see in the American steakhouse that you wanted to change?
Chef Sean Brasel: There isn’t anything specific we wanted to change, we just thought doing it our way is a little more different than the old connotation of the dark wood classic cigar smoking steakhouse.
Altima: When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
Chef Sean Brasel: I loved cooking ever since I was young; I just didn’t realize it could be a reality until I was 19.
Altima: How do you get your inspiration?
Chef Sean Brasel: Inspiration comes from many different sources, sometimes just touring a farm and tasting a delicious fresh mango or strawberry can give you inspiration. As a chef, I am an avid reader and always looking to learn new techniques and patterns in cooking. That also gives inspiration when you read a cool idea and you say to yourself, “Wow, I never thought of combining those flavors.”
Altima: Favorite kitchen equipment or gadget?
Chef Sean Brasel: I am falling back to basics and am really in love with my mortar pesto. It’s a way of crushing for flavor without the electronic things that we have come to depend on. It really makes you think about the outcome of the product thru process.
Altima: Best cooking tip for a novice in the kitchen (Especially for the holidays…)
Chef Sean Brasel: Plan your menu! Planning is execution and without proper planning, you can overcook things or have items not made correctly as your rushed to finish them.
Altima: What do you consider your proudest moment in life?
Chef Sean Brasel: Very tough question. I once catered a Super Bowl event for 3500 people at Miami Bayside. Most of the staff were culinary students. It was nothing but work for 2 weeks straight, and lots of organizing but once that event was running perfectly, it felt so amazing.
Altima: Where do you enjoy spending your weekends?
Chef Sean Brasel: I enjoy working on Saturday nights, and sleeping in on Sunday and going to brunch.
Altima: Top 3 Happy Hours in and around Palm Beach?
Chef Sean Brasel: I don’t know. With the exception of Meat Market. I don’t get the chance to explore different Happy Hours as much as I’d like.
Altima: Next vacation?
Chef Sean Brasel: I am going to Japan and Guam in November cooking some fabulous Certified Angus Beef Steaks for a few select dinners.
Altima: Any pets?
Chef Sean Brasel: Not right now. I do miss my old dog.
Altima: What do you normally wear outside of the kitchen?
Chef Sean Brasel: If I am not in my gym workout clothes, then I am in jeans and a t-shirt
Altima: Biggest pet peeve?
Chef Sean Brasel: I have a big pet peeve with my cooks who tell me the easy answer versus telling me the truth like, “Chef I burnt this product.” Instead blaming everyone else who supposedly turned up the oven or the flame.
Altima: What are some of the highlights we can look forward to at Meat Market’s MIAMI TAKEOVER during the annual Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival?
Chef Sean Brasel: Miami Takeover in Palm Beach will have some amazing chefs in Miami working together. We are working on creating something different to bring to Palm Beach by featuring our own take on what Miami cuisine is and how we can use one specific local product to showcase our individual culinary twist of Miami flavors. The lineup features some of the best culinary talent in Miami right now and I’m excited to get cooking with them!
Knife Fight, Equire Network feat. Meat Market’s Chef Sean Brasel
NOVEMBER 17TH | 9 PM EST
Looking for tickets to the Knife Fight? Our club members are invited to cheer on Chef Brasel as he competes for the title of ‘Culinary Master of the Universe’. The screening will allow guests to watch the show a week before airdate. Meat Market will provide Happy Hour pricing for bar guests and complimentary bites that Chef Brasel created while on the show (These dishes have never before been seen on the menu!)