Farming for Health Podcast #28: Chef Bradley Kilgore

Farming for Health Podcast #28: Chef Bradley Kilgore

Chef Bradley Kilgore serves as an inspiration for many aspiring cooks. He has worked at Michelin 3 Star restaurants; opened his own in-demand, award-winning restaurants; been a James Beard Foundation finalist; and so much more. Yet, he didn’t grow up in a home that prized fine dining or even really talked about the importance of food. Instead, he started his culinary journey by washing dishes at an eatery when he was just in the sixth grade. 

Because his best friend and his brother found jobs at a young age, so did Bradley. And, when he washed dishes reasonably well, his boss assigned him additional small jobs like cutting biscuits, juicing oranges, and making pancakes. It all seemed relatively straightforward to Bradley, a series of small tasks with none of them being overly complicated. So, he kept getting restaurant jobs. 

Then, during his junior year of high school, he took a class in fine dining—and the die was cast. Bradley was going to work in the culinary industry. 

His mother’s side of the family possesses artistic abilities and, even though Bradley says he can’t even draw, food became his medium as he built architecturally stable dishes that taste great. As he often says, his worst dish tastes better than the Mona Lisa. 

Bradley finds creative influences from many directions and outlets. They include the time of year, the event or group for which he’ll be cooking, and the history of ingredients (and how to bring back what’s been lost). He enjoys being part of the story, of a bigger picture as he makes connections and borrows inspiration from other cultures.

Because his family didn’t cook based on their heritage, other than perhaps a touch of Italian American influence, he doesn’t create a dish because that’s the way that Grandma always did. Instead, he incorporates what he learns through travel, reading, and general curiosity. 

Discover more about Chef Bradley Kilgore’s culinary journey in Creativity. Brining Vegetables and Family Pasta Night.

Past Episodes of our Farming for Health Podcast

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