Chef Brandon Frohne – Balancing Biscuits With A Constant Pursuit of Knowledge

Chef Brandon Frohne, Director of Culinary at Holler & Dash, grew up with a culinary family legacy that has deep roots.  “My great grandfather owned a restaurant in Berlin, Germany.  My grandmother owned a Bed & Breakfast in Switzerland, and she still owns a restaurant in Florida.  My grandfather was an amazing saucier and traveled the world working in many different kitchens.  I guess it is just in my blood!”

When Chef Brandon was a boy, he would be with his grandmother and his aunts and his mother in the kitchen, watching what they did, helping out whenever he could, learning the little “tricks of the trade” that still bring him inspiration when creating or recreating dishes and recipes today.  “Cooking has been my family’s way of life, we have been in the restaurant business for the last five generations.  If you wanted to spend time with family, you were around food, working in the kitchen, helping out in the restaurant… I loved it and gained such an appreciation for food, for the process of making it all work together, to create something that people would love to eat.”

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“I’d be visiting with my grandmother, and she would make this amazing salad dressing, my aunt would be making mother-sauces, and my mom would be baking biscuits… and this scene would happen all the time! I was ingrained with so many things that would become part of my culinary and life philosophy when I got older.”
Even though Chef Brandon grew up in the kitchen, he did not actually decide to start cooking as a profession until he was seventeen.  “I was at a crossroads… I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, but I knew that if I started working an office job, I would probably end up jumping out a window!”   Luckily, he kept his feet planted firmly on the ground and decided to find a mentor in the professional culinary world.  “I stumbled upon an apprenticeship from an amazing chef in Florida and I worked and learned the culinary craft for two years, and this just ignited my passion for cooking… and that’s how I got my start!”
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Chef Brandon believes that being a chef is akin to being an artist.  He insists that a chef must use all of his or her creativity to always explore, grow, and discover the dishes that are inside of them, that are just waiting to be made.  However, it isn’t just a walk in the park, “When you have those creative/artistic traits, you struggle sometimes to balance it all, to have the inspiration to recreate a dish, to see the potential that may or may not be apparent.  Then you have to balance that with leading and engaging a team, learning your team members’ personalities and providing a structure and environment to be able to reach a common goal, but not stifle or discourage their individual uniqueness, their vision and desire to create.  Personally, I believe a good leader makes his team feel they are not just team members, but part of a family… a culinary family.”
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When describing his vision for “Holler & Dash,” Chef Brandon’s eyes light up and his speech becomes rapid, as he is visibly excited to explain his dream.  “Holler & Dash is a biscuit-focused restaurant… a ‘Biscuit House,’ if you will.  We have four restaurants in Alabama, Tennessee and Florida with eleven chef-crafted biscuits, each with its own personality.”
“I like the term ‘Fine-Casual’… we have higher quality food, with a huge emphasis on hospitality in our restaurant and sourcing, but we do it all in a ‘fast-casual’ model… you get in and out really quickly, but have amazing, great tasting food!”
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Holler & Dash definitely has a unique and flavorful biscuit menu, but it doesn’t stop there, “We also have a ‘Crafty-Coffee’ program, sourced from a local roaster in Orlando, Florida, and we have instituted a ‘Craft-Soda’ program, as well.  We create our own flavors, based upon the food history of the region, and, needless to say, for Orlando we have a very citrus-focused history!”
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When asked for any advice he may have for those who are interested in a culinary career, Chef Brandon is quick to say that you need to get a strong foundation in the basics.  “People have this idea of what the ‘Culinary World’ is like, they want to be a ‘Rockstar Chef’ almost immediately, and don’t understand the amount of work that it takes just to be successful, let alone a rockstar.  Besides, fame isn’t the reason you should want to be a chef, or anything, really… you should do it because you are passionate about it and love what you are doing.  You have to work in restaurants, that’s how you learn ‘staging’… you need to go to culinary school, or maybe go the European route, the way I did, and get an apprenticeship, but you have got to build your foundation, learn the nitty-gritty, put in the hours, because that is where you will find your inspiration and your courage to create and really put yourself out there.  It builds knowledge, technique, and confidence… but, most importantly, becoming a good chef is a constant pursuit of knowledge.  If you are passionate about it, you will study and perfect your technique every single day and commit yourself to excellence.”
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If you want know what passion tastes like, just head to “Holler & Dash” and discover what five generations of professional cooking can do to improve something as simple as a biscuit.  Classic “Southern” ingredients with a modern spin… you’ll go from “I’ll try it” to “I’ll be back!”
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