Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Chef Bryan Spaulding of Corner Grill

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Chef Bryan Spaulding of Corner Grill

Article excerpt

Bryan Spaulding, the co-owner of the Corner Grill (formerly the End Zone Pub & Grill; 5765 Beneva Road, Sarasota, 922-9663, theendzonegrill.com), modestly calls himself a "cook" more than a chef. His devoted patrons, however, consistently praise him for his gourmet-level fare, from his New England-inspired seafood dishes to his drool-inducing hamburgers.

Q:How did your New England background contribute to your interest in cooking?

A:I grew up in a very basic New England culture, which meant giving people a quality product at a fair price and treating them with respect. Many of the restaurants I frequented as a young person were already generations old. I was also fortunate enough to be surrounded by fresh foods for most of my formative years. On the weekends, we would dig steamers and rake bushels of oysters, and cook the whole mess up. There was largemouth bass and yellow perch in the lake, and trout in the stream down the road from my house. Almost every house had some variety of a garden. Our foods were always very simple and fresh, which is something I still believe in to this day. My first restaurant job was in 1985, working for a candy store on Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. From there, I went to work for Warren's Lobster House in Kittery, Maine.

Q:What was your hospitality background before opening the Corner Grill?

A:I moved to Florida in 1990 and went to work for The Old Salty Dog on Siesta Key, where I transitioned to a front of the house career that would last nearly 20 years. I bartended there for three years, left to bartend at the Beach Club for three years, and returned to The Old Salty Dog on City Island for the next 17 years. During two of my years at the Beach Club, I also ran a stone crab boat.

Q:What are some of your "famous" dishes so far at the restaurant?

A:We take great pride in all of our food but our top three dishes would be our burgers (handmade, 8-ounce, all-beef), the fresh Prince Edward Island mussels in our white wine and garlic sauce, and our skillet macaroni and cheese. …

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