Casey Overton is a person I always heard about, but never actually met. As executive chef at The Loft inside Montage Resort, his modern cuisine is one that I've always appreciated. An interview long overdue, Casey's many talents growing up influence his creative menu.
Best culinary tip for the home cook: Finishing most dishes with fresh herbs and/or acidity is one of the keys to making your food taste like it came from a restaurant.
One food you can't live without: That is a tough question, but it would probably have to be cheese. There are so many different styles, tastes and textures. Cheese is simply amazing.
What's currently occupying the interactive cheese gallery, and what would you accompany it with? I love Beemster Gouda paired with the lavender caramel.
Your best recent food find: I had some amazing crab soup while dining at The Optimist in Atlanta.
Your earliest food memory: Eating strawberries from the farmers market with my grandfather in the summer sunshine and washing it down with water from the garden hose.
Most undervalued ingredient: SALT!
When you were learning to cook for your family, what were their favorite meals? I have always been great with the grill. I loved to cook steaks and produce from the garden.
Give us an example of a dish on your menu exemplifying a few ingredients prepared simply and perfectly. We have a tomato appetizer that is a peeled tomato, roasted then marinated and served with olive oil and avocado sorbet. It is all about the tomato.
Weirdest customer request (and did you do it?): It's still too soon to dredge up those memories . . . .
Favorite places to eat. I love Mark Johnson's new restaurant at the Island Hotel (Oak Grill). Mark is very talented. He understands food well and will be a great success.
You're making breakfast; what are you having? If it is a special breakfast, I like to make quiche or fried ham and eggs.
How would you explain the difference between the cuisines at Studio versus The Loft? The Loft features creative American cuisine. I love to have the ability to put together creative combinations with big, bold flavors.
One food you can't live without: That is a tough question but it would probably have to be cheese. There are so many different styles, tastes and textures. Cheese is simply amazing.
What is your beverage of choice? I love anything with bourbon associated with it.
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Favorite meal growing up. My grandmother's fried chicken with hushpuppies and pickled bean salad.
Tell us about your time at Aubergine. I learned how to organize myself, not only ingredient-wise, but mentally as well.
Best culinary tip for the home cook. Finishing most dishes with fresh herbs and/or acidity is one of the keys to making your food taste like it came from a restaurant.