Twelve Days of Chefmas: Adam Trifone
While we love inundating your Instagram feeds with daily doses of food porn, we are firm believers that you should know the people behind your food as well as where it is coming from. Our 12 Days of Chef-mas series seeks to introduce you to the faces behind some of your favorite restaurants and brands. Follow along for the next 12 days as we help you get to know these talented humans a little better.
Adam Trifone | Chef/Owner at Roots Down | Woodstock, CT
How you got started in the kitchen:
I started like a lot of people, as a dishwasher in high school. I had an interest in cooking and one of the line cooks, Steve, started showing me a few things and let me do a little cooking when the owners weren’t around. Ultimately, the owner’s wouldn’t let me do more, but for me it was too late, the seed had been planted.
Your favorite ingredient to work with:
Every year, I look forward to when Juliet tomatoes come into season. They’re abundant, the perfect size, sweet, meaty and can be used like a cherry or grape tomato and as a fantastic sauce tomato.
Favorite item on your menu:
I would have to say that the pan-seared sea scallops with a bacon, bourbon cream sauce is one of our most popular dishes. I’m also partial to our fried chicken because I think that good fried chicken isn’t always the easiest to achieve.
Favorite holiday dish to eat or cook:
I change it up every year, but I have been known to make my holiday bites when going to parties. Polenta, braised turkey in gravy, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce all in one bite. It’s a treat that Willy Wonka could appreciate.
Funniest kitchen story:
Well, when I was about 20 years old, I was running a catering kitchen at a minor league ballpark. As you can imagine, there was a lot of frozen, pre-made products around. One of the few things that I got to produce from scratch was the prime rib. I took a lot of pride in making it, and it quickly became a big hit with the skybox patrons. One evening, one of my servers came back to the kitchen with a message from a patron. “______ in skybox 9 said that your prime rib is better than sex!” I sheepishly respond, “OK” while the servers and kitchen staff giggled. Later on that night, I was standing in the doorway of the kitchen, talking to my employees when, the previously mentioned patron came up behind me, starting to grind and reach around to my front and drunkenly exclaimed, “If your prime rib is that good, I wonder how the rest of your meat tastes!” Everyone stopped what they were doing, froze and looked at us with mouths wide open. I froze, and could only must another, “OK.” After about a minute, the patron finally unglued herself from my back, turned and started down the hallway yelling, “Whoohoo! Yeah, Baby!” It took about 20 seconds for the scene to really sink in and the staff immediately burst out in laughter as I turned bright red. It took the rest of that season and the following season for the staff to let me live that one down. I have never quite looked at prime rib the same again!