Thursday, July 7, 2011

5 Minutes With Executive Chef Frank Greco

65 N. Park Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY 11570   1-516-678-7272

The George Martin Group restaurant locations are known for their creative, unique, and cutting edge experience. Each menu dish is constantly updated and freshly prepared for our customers. Frank Greco is the Executive Chef for all George Martin Group restaurants. He is mastermind chef behind the creative and original recipes each George Martin Group Location has to offer. We took a few minutes to sit down with Frank and find out where his passion comes from. Below is the interview:

Amy: What is your inspiration behind the new Grillfire Arundel menu?

Frank: We take classic, comforting dishes and put our own spin on them. For instance, the short ribs are a classic take on pot roast but we serve it with truffled mashed potatoes to elevate it a little bit. 

Amy: So what's one item on the menu that people might not be familiar with-but should definitely try?

Frank: Our crusted Crab Munchkins. In Maryland they're no strangers to crab cake, but we make it into a "meatball" and crust it with coconut. It's a hybrid of crab-cake and coconut shrimp.
Amy: Wow, sounds tasty! What's one thing you'll never see on your menu?

Frank: Anything pre-made, or processed stuff. If we can't make it in-house, we don't do it.

Amy: Do you cater to people with special diets, like vegetarians?

Frank: We always work with vegetarians-my wife is a vegetarian so I would get in trouble if we didn't! We have a veggie burger on the menu and some vegetarian-friendly pasta items. If you have other issues, like gluten intolerance, we can also work with you.

Amy: How are you incorporating Maryland/local flavor into the new location?

Frank: I'm in the process of finding some local farms and vendors, to get access to more local produce and seafood. We'll work that into the daily specials.

Amy: What's the biggest task in front of you now, with the new Grilfire Arundel?

Frank: The biggest challenge of any restaurant is getting the right staff together in the kitchen, who can work together. We look for a family-like team. It's not just talent. You also need the right chemistry.
Amy: I know you're hiring. What do you look for?
Frank: I look for people that are just generally good people, people that you want to be around. They also have to be creative and want to strive to be better.

Amy: General Manager Matthew Santeramo has been with George Martin for 18 years, and you've been with the group since '89. That's pretty unusual!

Frank: Yes, I started with them out of culinary school, first as a saute cook, then sous chef and then executive chef at the original Grillfire. I have restaurants on Long Island where everyone started with me as a prep cook or dishwasher and a lot of them have been there for almost 20 years. People move up the ranks with us. 

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