Welcome to Chef Faves, an Eater series where local chefs share their current favorite dishes, ingredients and more. Here's Kyle Bailey of Birch & Barley, Churchkey, GBD and Bluejacket's The Arsenal.
Between his role as head chef at Birch & Barley to his new joint endeavors with pastry chef (and wife) Tiffany MacIsaac at Bluejacket's The Arsenal and GBD, it's safe to say Kyle Bailey's had a busy year. Despite all that, he found time to chat with Eater about his current favorite dishes, places around town and sources of inspiration.
What's your current favorite dish in DC?
The Grilled Sour Isaan Sausage at Doi Moi is incredible. You can trust Haidar Karoum to put out consistently awesome food. But for everyday, check out the Italian hoagie at Bub and Pop's.
What's your current favorite ingredient to use?
I've been using a lot of offal. It's fun to work hearts, livers, kidneys, etc. into dishes.
Where's your favorite place to go in DC for food inspiration?
Favorite place for inspiration is with the staff after service. When the cleaning is done, I like to sit down with my cooks and talk about food. We get a few drinks and talk about what we've never done before, and how we can challenge ourselves.
What is one of your favorite food memories?
One time Tiffany and I drove to Atlanta after service at Birch & Barley. It was a rough 12 hour car ride. We were carting around a ton of food for the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, so imagine a 2007 Mini Cooper completely filled with coolers of food. When we finally got into town, we were tired and starving, so we pulled into the first BBQ spot we could find. It's called Fox Brothers BBQ and it was magnificent.
What's your favorite thing on the menu currently?
At Birch & Barley and Churchkey, we have a new flatbread with Cotechino sausage, a kale and walnut pesto, Asiago and Puntarella. At The Arsenal [restaurant and bar at Blue Jacket], it's the Eggs in Purgatory dish at brunch. It's creamy Polenta, house jarred tomatoes, fresh chorizo, baked eggs and Pecorino.
What are you most looking forward to adding to the menu in the future?
I am looking forward to adding more vegetarian options to The Arsenal menu.
What is your favorite dish to cook at home?
I love to roast meat at home. I made a killer crown roast of pork for our annual Thanksgiving gathering this year.
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