Interview with a CHEF

August 21, 2014

We’d like to introduce our new Executive Chef, Seamus Gibney.  During an afternoon chat, we learned a lot about the self-described gypsy as he discussed his past and how he came about working at Pier 23 Cafe.

Hailing from upstate NY, Rochester to be exact, he’s lived all around the country- Manhattan, Los Angeles, Colorado, North Carolina and now San Francisco.  He’s worked in the restaurant business most of his life.  After a stint in the army, he decided to pursue cooking full time.  Counting James Beard as one of his influences, he often refers to the famed author’s American Cookery when looking for a good fried chicken recipe or how to make the perfect hamburger.  He really likes how Beard, the “original foodie”, ties in history with food.  Gibney, himself, has recently been focusing on classic American cuisine however he calls his own style of cooking ever-changing and influx.

Gibney’s dishes are unique in that they have a sense of history but are more evolved with an edgy sophistication.  Take, for instance, his Pink Peppercorn Crusted Swordfish served with homemade curry french fries.  This could be considered a riff off of the traditional French steak au poivre with pommes frites.  By substituting the beef with fish it becomes more contemporary while also appealing to the health conscious California crowd.

His food also has a bit of an Asian flare.  One of his new additions to the Pier 23 Cafe menu, Thai Prawns with Rice Noodle, shows an adeptness at working with Asian flavors.  It makes sense Gibney would add a noodle dish to the menu, confessing that he looooves noodles.  At home, he and his wife, a baker, are constantly trying to perfect their ramen recipe by making homemade noodles.  They always have a stock pot going as it takes hours to achieve a full-flavored broth.  Luckily, he keeps his refrigerator stocked with oxtails, one of his favorite ingredients.

Asked one of Pier 23 Cafe’s owner, Flicka McGurrin’s, favorite questions, if stuck on a deserted island which would he rather have: butter or mayo?  He answered butter because there are countless ways to use it.

Clearly, this guy has a deep love for food.  We are thrilled to welcome him into the Pier 23 Cafe family.