Our former prepared foods chef, Nicole, has gone on to greener pastures (pardon the pun) with our blessing. So we’d like to introduce you to our new amazing chef at UA, Sean Blanchette! If you’ve been to Fearing’s restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton in Uptown, then you’ve most likely tasted his delicious fare. Sean is in our store most Saturday mornings from 9am-12pm sampling some of his hand-crafted good eats, so come out and meet him sometime soon!
We recently sat down with Sean for a little Q&A so you could get to know him better…
Where did you go to culinary school?
I went to the Le Cordon Bleu Texas Culinary Academy in Austin, TX. I love Austin and would love to go back and teach one day.
What’s your current job, and what’s your favorite thing about it?
I currently work at Fearing’s restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton here in Dallas. I love working for Dean [Fearing]! As well as creating some pretty amazing food, we are a big family at Fearing’s, and we have one of the most amazing kitchens to play in every day. Couldn’t ask for a better place to work in Dallas, except for maybe Urban Acres.
Why are you now the chef at Urban Acres?
I’m trying to not only further my knowledge of the farm to table experience but help others in Dallas do the same. My wish is to educate the public how easy and rewarding eating local can be. I spend my days off at my family’s farm picking veggies out of our garden, baking bread in our hand-made pizza oven, and enjoying our grass-fed beef that we raise.
What has been the most interesting cooking job you’ve had?
The most interesting job I ever had was probably cooking for the NHL Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh. I got to experience an amazing year cooking for the players, owners, and wives on a nightly basis. We cooked BBQ pork for 20,000 people every day, and holding the Stanley Cup over my head wasn’t that bad either…
What do you hate to cook?
Anything with the word “diet” in it! I don’t do diet mayo, skim milk, margarine, or anything like that. I am a firm believer in eating the right amounts of wholesome natural ingredients.
What is your specialty?
I would say I definitely tend to lean towards Asian, especially in the first three years of my career when I worked for a very talented Vietnamese chef. Working back in Texas for the past couple years though, I have been cooking a lot more Southwestern cuisine.
If you were going to die tonight what would be your last meal?
Phở! Phở is a Vietnamese broth style soup that I learned to love while working for my first employer, Chef Michael Chuong. It’s not that expensive, but it’s probably my favorite thing on the planet!
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For July and August, members get $.50 off any of Chef Sean’s old-fashioned canned goods (marinated carrots, peach preserves, and more!). His marinated carrots are a secret family recipe and addictingly good.