Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Cooking at an Evolving Restaurant

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Cooking at an Evolving Restaurant

Article excerpt

Will Manson, the chef and kitchen manager at the BeachHouse Restaurant (200 Gulf Dr. N., Bradenton Beach, 779-2222, beachhouse.groupersandwich.com), has been excitedly watching the restaurant evolve since its renovations began in September. The 1993- built Bradenton Beach landmark has undergone decor and menu upgrades to reflect its commitment to sustainable dining, and Manson looks forward to reintroducing the place to his regulars this winter.

Q:Managing the busy kitchen at the BeachHouse, especially in season, must be an exercise in multitasking. How do you handle it?

A:When I get to work, I usually go through the kitchen and dining areas, greeting the management and staff. It's a good way to get an overall picture of the day so far. Any problems tend to be brought to my attention immediately, and I like to put the "fires" out before I begin any food production or service. If everything is under control, I'll assist my food preparation department by cutting the day's fish and beef. The sous chef and I will meet to discuss menu features, employee issues and the evening night cook lineup. For hours, we cook and serve nonstop, occasionally having a few moments between waves to restock and catch our breath. The whole process is a juggling act. The night usually ends with thanking every employee for a job well done.

Q:Do you have much time to spend with your family, or to relax?

A:My day usually starts by taking one of my daughters to school, and some days, it's the only time I get to see her. If I don't have to go into work early I'll get some exercise, and handle a few errands and chores. When I have some free time, I'm taking care of my family's needs and spending time with friends.

Q:As the restaurant moves toward a more farm-to-table approach, how does that affect the produce and seafood offerings?

A:Our restaurant is invested in local, organic farms to show our guests we're committed to bringing more farm-to-table menu items: Lettuces, greens, vegetables, berries and heirloom tomatoes. …

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