Twelve Days of Chefmas: Jes Bengston
While we love showing you delicious food 24/7, we also think it's important that you know who is behind the food you're eating. So, our "Twelve Days of Chef-mas" series will introduce you to a dozen noteworthy chefs from across the state. You can see our full lineup of chefs here. That being said:
🎶 On the fifth day of "Chef-mas," CT Eats Out brings to you... Brick + Wood's Executive Chef Jes Bengston and her burrata bar 🎶
How You Got Started In The Kitchen:
I was hired when I was 16 at a small seafood restaurant as a cashier. My first night the chef asked me to come over and help him with tickets because he was backed up and I never looked back!
Favorite Ingredient To Work With:
Right now I love working with dough. The possibilities of different breads and pizzas and desserts is really just endless. Infusing different oils and herbs, different rises, shapes; Brick + Wood has really opened my eyes to completely new cuisine, and something as simple as dough can just blow your mind with its potential.
Favorite Menu Item:
Brick + Wood burrata. Hands down, no brainer. We're talking hours of hand stretched cheese filling and it's prepared to order. No one else does that. You can order it, and watch it being made and brought right to you within minutes, which is so rare and amazing. The salty and sweet components, and just simple and fresh profiles. It really is something you can't get anywhere else.
Favorite Holiday Dish To Eat or Make:
Williamsburg sweet potatoes. I'm a huge fan of eating other people's cooking on holidays and this one is at the top of my list. Sweet and creamy, it’s great and it’s a different take on a classic dish that you find in many homes.
Restaurant in CT You're Dying To Try:
The National Greenwich. Geoffrey is one of my favorite chefs and also such a sweet guy! I know his standard for quality is super high and from glancing over the menu he's taken some really classic dishes and elevated them with his own spin.
Funniest Kitchen Story:
Last year I was working in a kitchen with an open window to the dining room, and I heard someone say my name. I looked up and there was Michael Bolton, one foot away from me, calling me by name, saying what a fan he was, and how great his meal was. I was so taken aback by it that I literally just looked at him and said "thanks Michael Bolton, have a great day!!" Looking back, I wish I conversed a little longer and also wish I didn't address him by his full name...
You can follow Chef Jess on Instagram @jesthechef