31 March . 2010
Celebrity Chef Perspective: Jeremy Clayman, Busy Bee Cafe
As promised, we are continuing to share with you features from our local partners, restaurants, educators and friends as we take a look at sustainability from various angles - all leading up to Earth Day. Today we are pleased to hear from Chef Jeremy Clayman of the Busy Bee Cafe:
Q: When did you know you wanted to be a chef
A: The profession found me. I started washing dishes at age 15, staying at work until 2 a.m. and worked my way up by doing prep and line work. I wanted to be a highschool English teacher and they wanted me to do all types of science and math – I was not feeling that – quit school twice. Wound up back in the kitchen and realized I could use my hands and be creative. I started taking it serious around 22 or 23… and decided that’s what I wanted to do. I had the opportunity to work for chef who was crazy (in a good way) that showed me the ropes. My dad was a banker – you know, shirt and ties – I never wanted to be that guy. Chef taught me I didn’t have to be that guy, but I could still make a living and support my family. I can’t sing and can’t play guitar so this is the closest thing to being a rock star.
Q: Why is it important to you to use local ingredients
A: There’s nothing better than getting a box of veggies at the farmers market or Eco (Eastern Carolina Organics) and I get dirty, dirty fantastic vegatables and there is nothing better than washing the dirt off the veg, Italians from all regions say their food and wine is the best because it all came from the same soil. Makes a lot more sense to eat food from the soil we are standing on and it drives the local economy. The lady who we get the pork from had to go back to teaching and farming full time and I just kept buying from her because I knew that it was good product we could use. It becomes about relationships with local farmers and local artisans and they will help me when needed. Chef James Baine in Wilmington dealt with a farm that brought us fresh goat cheese. Here in Raleigh, I use the Goat Lady.
Q: What is the most popular dish served in your restaurant that is made from local or organic ingredients
A: Beets. Anything w sweet potato… we always have a baby green salad. Something super fresh/green. Goat cheese is also a big hit.
Q: What is your favorite thing/ingredient to buy local and where do you get it
A: Anything from Rainbow Meadows – pork, poulet rouge chicken. Lamb shanks, lamb sirloin. Anything that Janelle sells, I’m into it.
Q: What can we expect to see from you at the Briar Chapel’s Earth Day Celebrity Chef Charity Event on April 18
A: I’ll be serving pork with sweet potato and flounder with either brussel sprouts or arugula… depending on what cabbage is out.
Q: What advice can you offer to Triangle residents who would like to incorporate more local produce, meats and poultry into their at-home cooking
A: Farmers market is a good start. The Carborro farmers market has a good protein selection. For Seafood, try Southworks…. Go to the coast and bring fish back – NC fish is opening a warehouse on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh. My wife and I are really intent on starting a garden. We’ve spent the past two years clearing out trees and making sure light can get in so that we can start planting a garden. A backyard garden is smart even if it’s small, you can save some cash and have fresh food.
Q: As you may know, this is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. In celebration of this day, can you share what things you do (beyond cooking with local ingredients) either in your restaurant or at home to “go green”
A: We use Orange Clean – natural cleaning. And all of our “to-go” containers are made from recycled materials. All our fryer oil is collected by a local man who turns it into biodiesel fuel.
Q: What charity will you be supporting through your participation in Briar Chapel’s Earth Day Celebrity Chef Charity Event
Thanks Chef Jeremy, we look forward to seeing you on Sunday, April 18th 1-4pm. We will be accepting donations for the Abundance Foundation in the McNeil Burbank model in honor of Chef Jeremy. To learn more about our Earth Day events, please visit us at www.BriarChapelNC.com/earthday
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