MEET THE CHEF: CHRIS HAWKINS

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - Best Bets: Cheeseburger Quesadillas -

Stop. Sous chef, Three An­gels Diner. 37.

Mem­phis.

My grand­mother. Just South­ern food. She did this great dish that I try to re-cre­ate, and I still quite can’t get it right. It was just this thing that she called “Cheesy Cat­fish.” ... She just took a cat­fish fil­let, put it on a pan, slathered it in but­ter, salt and pep­pered it and then cov­ered it with parme­san cheese and baked it. When I was 2, my fa­vorite thing to do was to go and make a hot dog and have some canned as­para­gus. Two or three. I think we had mi­crowaves. Pizza Hut.

I started work­ing in kitchens when I was 15. About 21, I de­cided. At 28, I de­cided I didn’t want to. I went into graphic de­sign, and I be­came as­sis­tant mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor for Crye-Leike Real­tors, be­came a Real­tor and started my own mar­ket­ing com­pany and just did cater­ing. Re­ally, just about a year ago when the real es­tate bot­tom dropped out, I went back to cook­ing.

(Rick Farmer, chef/owner of the old Jar­rett’s restau­rant) taught me all sorts of what I con­sider real ba­sic stuff like, “Al­ways start pota­toes in cold wa­ter.” “Al­ways start your stocks and any bulb or root in cold wa­ter.” Lots of lit­tle stuff like that re­ally brought it all to­gether for me. Up to that point it had just been me ex­per­i­ment­ing with food.

Re­gional with a

South­west­ern flair.

Pizza. Right now it’s Trol­ley

From baba ganoush to fried chicken, there’s not re­ally much food I don’t like. Three An­gels Diner is at 2617 Broad; 452-1111. — Michael Don­ahue: 529-2797; don­ahue@com­mer­cialap­peal.com

Michael Don­ahue/The Com­mer­cial Ap­peal

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