Interview with Chef Tamara Murphy of Brasa – Seattle, WA

October 2011

Antoinette Bruno: Where do you prefer for culinary travel?
Tamara Murphy: I really love Spain, Portugal and France.

AB: What is your favorite question to ask during an interview for a potential new line cook?
TM: Why do you want to work here? This is my party, do you want to come to it, and what can you bring to it? The answer can be simple, as in, good food. Also, something to test culinary skills, such as what is chicken stock?

AB: What is your most indispensable kitchen tool?
TM: Microplane grater.

AB: Why did you choose food?
TM: I am not always sure that food didn't choose me. Cooking very quickly satisfied my need to please people. Fortunately it later pleased me. Cooking allows me to experience my creativity, spontaneity, and passion and indulges my curious nature about all things living.

AB: Why did you leave New York for Seattle?
TM: I needed a "new” place to live. For me being a good cook, chef and restaurant owner depends on how well I feed my soul with the other activities I enjoy so much, NOT related to food. In Seattle I have a great outdoor playground and lots of great product to cook with.

AB: What do you like most about cooking in Seattle?
TM: I think the more laid-back attitude. No one takes food more seriously than I do; however, I try not to take myself so seriously. Simple is appreciated here. I am not pressured to reinvent the wheel. I don't mean lazy either.

AB: What do you cook at home for yourself?
TM: I love to cook roast chicken. I fill the cavity with lots of herbs, garlic, lemon slices. I cook it in a Tagine, whole and it’s fabulous.

AB: What are some of your favorite cookbooks that have inspired you?
TM: I go through phases...Right now I really like Jamie Oliver’s books, simple, good food. The French Laundry is inspiring. I always loved Art Culinaire but I haven't seen one in a while.

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