Ian Pierce’s Essentials
5 things the Sandcastle chef can’t live without
Drawing by James Kloiber
I’m a big lemonade guy, and it’s something anyone can do. Take fresh lemon juice and make simple syrup to mix in: It’s a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar, then boil, cook five minutes, and let cool. You can change it up by adding hibiscus, basil, or ginger—or do lime juice.
Kitchen space is always at a premium—put hooks on the walls and under cabinets, and hang your pots for easy access. Limit gadgets: A chef’s knife can do almost anything. Stash stuff you don’t use often out of sight—like my blender, which I haven’t seen for a month.
Brock Obee was the first real chef I worked for, and he taught me simplicity: Keep ingredients to a minimum and use them really well. Do research, trust recipes, and explore flavors from around the world, but interpret everything into your own style.
I love the classics like barbecue, corn on the cob, and fresh fruit. Keep it simple, but high quality, like a BLT—just use bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise, but use really ripe tomato, local greens, and good bacon.
Our new soft-serve machine has a name—Elsa—and she’s a big ol’ baby. We have to give her a lot of love, and she can be fussy. We only have chocolate, vanilla, and twist cones. Doug [Flicker] is such a purist I don’t think he’s ever even had a twist cone, but that was invented for summer.