He grew up in St. Louis, and went to college nearby at Lindenwood U. But once Patrick Connolly came to the East Coast to study at Johnson & Wales in Providence, RI, he knew he wanted to stay. First came a job at Empire in Providence, then he moved on and up to Radius, considered by many as Boston's finest restaurant. He quickly rose through the ranks there to become executive chef, doing the kind of job that got him nominated for the James Beard Foundation's Rising Star Chef Award this year.
Boy, there isn't much to work with in this fridge.
I keep a few favorite items on hand, but mostly I eat on the job.
What about breakfast?
I usually skip it. I'll get up about eight, have a banana and some iced black coffee, then head over to work.
How long does that take?
Not long. I live two blocks away.
Sweet. We hear you haven't always lived so close.
I commuted from Providence when I first got this job.
Wow, that's 45 miles each way. Was that hard to do?
Staying awake while driving was the hard part.
We'll bet. What's your work day like now?
I'll get in about 10 a.m. and we get ready for lunch. Radius gets a big power lunch crowd.
So you're busy right off the bat.
We are. I stay until 10 or 11 p.m., then head home. Sunday's my only day off.
No after-work high jinks?
There's occasional fun. I take the cooks out for drinks after work every now and then.
How about the other nights?
Well, twice a week I go to a bar on Boston Common called Remington's. I brainstorm and write new menus there.
How's that work?
I'll bring my product lists and my tasting menu from that evening and look it over. See what's getting stale, what we could add. Then I order new products.
Do you drink there?
Sure, some Budweiser. You've got to stay loyal to Budweiser if you're from St. Louis.
I see some Budweiser in your fridge. And udon noodles, too.
The one thing I will make at home is a quick bowl of miso soup. That's where this broccoli and bok choy will be used.
What's a day off like for you?
I sleep in until 10 and then take off. I like to walk the city, six or eight miles at a time.
I'll stop in at different coffee houses, then get oysters somewhere like B&G—Barbara Lynch's place. You know, my life sounds dull when I describe it to you this way.
Your life won't seem so dull when you're mingling at the Beard Awards. Got a tux yet?
I've got the style picked out— single-button, single-breasted, pointed lapels.
Who will be going with you?
My parents. Our family's still tight. One of my younger brothers cooks in St. Louis, the other plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Your little brother is in the NFL?
Not little. Younger. He's got 100 pounds on me now.
Good luck at the Beard Awards!
| WHAT'S CHILLIN': |
Poland Spring Water