On trips for work and pleasure I often have the delightful opportunity to meet engaged folks. In fact, I make it happen because there are so many remarkable people out there! Jan Loov, Dallas Texas is one such person I’ve started to get to know this year.
Jan hails from Sweden originally and has a world of flavor experience to share with all of us. He’s currently Chef de Cuisine at Texas Spice, Omni Hotel, Dallas Texas. In fact, that’s where I met Jan – in Dallas.
After a successful flight into Texas to speak at the Texas Restaurant Association show last summer, I donned my walking/running gear and headed street side to get some fresh air. T’was a lovely day and as I rounded the corner, out the front entry, I spied with my little eye someone in a white shirt coat wandering through some low plants…. So I said hello and asked him who he was. Yep, you guessed it: it was Jan.
It started a fun conversation, as he was perusing his herbs and veggies planted outside the restaurant on the grounds. Jan was friendly and eager to talk about the plants, his work and food.
The next day found me at breakfast in the Texas Spice, pre-conference, wherein I spied Jan again. I offered a hello and we chatted again for a few minutes. He told me to let him know how he could make my stay any better – so I asked for a kitchen tour. Jan happily obliged my request so later that afternoon, between lunch and dinner, I showed up to be shown around.
Looking at kitchens of all sorts is really fascinating to me. There are the basics – cooking tools and equipment. People. Foodstuffs. And yet they’re always arranged differently, with various layouts, folks doing this and that, and nooks and crannies they’ve dedicated to one use or another.
Jan was a gracious and easy host, introducing me to a number of his co-workers, which was an added bonus. Line, equipment, freezer and fridges, catering area, staging spaces, dishes…whew! It was impressive and pretty darn mindboggling to see all the moving parts and pieces, all driven forward in the name of flavor by focused folks.
Check out some of Jan’s work & foodie photos can be found on starchefs.com. And if you speak Swedish, check this site out as well.
When next you get to Dallas, pay Jan a visit. Try the uber yummy grits at breakfast – tell him I sent you.
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