Fort Lauderdale

January 9, 2011

Interview with Bistro Mezzaluna Chef Brian Rutherford

The South Florida Food and Wine weekly spotlight series is a fun and interesting way to get to know chefs, vintners and entreperneurs on a relaxed and easy level. These men and women are just like you and me, they have their favorite places to eat, people they admire and take days off…let’s take a look at this week’s chef in the spotlight.

This week’s chef in the spotlight is Brian Rutherford the cool and very talented driving force at Bistro Mezzaluna in Fort Lauderdale. I’ve known Brian for years and have admired his work and enjoyed his food since day one. Recently I had dinner with friends at Bistro Mezzaluna and the photos came out so gorgeous that I made them the highlight of my Food Porn leads to Foodgasms post that same week, click here to view the photos and commentary from that dinner. And now, I present this week’s chef in the spotlight, Brian Rutherford.

South Florida Food and Wine: Where do you get your culinary inspiration?

Brian Rutherford: My culinary inspiration comes from eating out at other restaurants and also from reading the latest magazines or cook books from other chefs. Always love see what other local chefs are creating (such as Dean Max or Giovanni at Valentino’s) that always drives me to do better.

South Florida Food and Wine: When did you realize that cooking was your passion?
Brian Rutherford: I realized that I loved cooking when I was 10 years old. I took great pleasure in helping my Mom make dinner for the family and watching how much everyone enjoyed eating what we had just prepared. And the first two things I learned to make on my own were French toast and bread pudding. Still two of my personal favorites!!

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite item on your menu?
Brian Rutherford: My favorite item on our menu right now is the Rigatoni Bolognese. I love pasta!!

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite dish to make at home?
Brian Rutherford: When I’m at home I really love to grill. So I would say my favorite home dish is a grilled rib eye with roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli.

South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?
Brian Rutherford: Last meal would be something braised such as beef short ribs or Veal Osso Bucco.

South Florida Food and Wine: Who is the one person you would love to cook with and why?
Brian Rutherford: Person I would love to cook with would be Thomas Keller. Chef Keller uses classic but simple techniques to prepare his dishes. I believe he searches out great products and doesn’t over crowd his dishes using ingredients that people never heard of. Basically I love his cooking style and the flavors that he uses.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one guilty pleasure food?
Brian Rutherford: My wife’s fudge. I have a bit of a sweet tooth!

South Florida Food and Wine: What was the last restaurant you ate at?
Brian Rutherford: The last restaurant I ate at was coconuts in Fort Lauderdale. Consistently great food and great service

South Florida Food and Wine: Who would you most like to cook for? And why?
Brian Rutherford: I would like to cook for one of the first chefs that I worked for, Paul Nagel. He is the chef of the Gypsy Rose Hotel about 30 miles outside of Philly. It would be fun to show chef Nagel how much I grown as a chef and to let him know that all the time he invested in me wasn’t wasted.

South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your day off, what do you do for fun?
Brian Rutherford: A perfect day off for me is spending time with my loving wife and our two great kids. My second choice for a great day off is playing golf.

Bistro Mezzaluna is located at 741 SE 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale 954-522-9191


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