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After exploring Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Antipodes, Brad Farmerie followed his love for food to the UK and earned his "Grande Diplome" at Le Cordon Bleu in 1996. Most influential to his own style was his experience working with Peter Gordon at the Sugar Club. In 2003 Farmerie moved back to the States to help conceive PUBLIC, AvroKO's first self-propelled restaurant. Michelin awarded the restaurant a coveted star in the 2009 Red Guide. Farmerie has showcased his talents on the Food Network's Iron Chef America and The Next Iron Chef series.




How do you characterize your cuisine?

My cooking started with an education in French technique and has evolved dramatically with travels around the world. The cultures, cuisines, herbs and spices that I have encountered influence my cooking and were the impetus for the menu at Public, The Monday Room, and Double Crown.

Being in a foreign country, speaking to the people, eating the local food, and tasting the local wine helps bring flavors into perspective and gives them a sense of meaning, history, and place. The more I can learn about this history and sense the passion from local producers, the more I want to use these new items in my cooking. New and different items excite me and inspire me to continue to learn and grow as a chef.

This inspiration filters through my belief in using unusual cuts of meat or wild game and my insistence on giving guests great value for their money. Before you know it, a menu has been created!

What region or ethnicity most influences your cooking?

Most of my cooking has been shaped by my travels: the ingredients, techniques, and cultures of each region have shaped the food that we serve. I lived in London for 8 years and used that as a jumping off point to travel through Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Morocco, and the Middle East. These trips, along with my Lebanese heritage, influence what I do.

What is your signature dish?

At The Monday Room: Chicken liver crème caramel with maple roasted grapes. At Public: for brunch, Turkish Eggs. For dinner, roasted New Zealand venison with wild mushrooms, blue cheese dumpling, and salsa verde. At Double Crown: Singapore laksa.

What kind of food were you exposed to as a child?

I grew up in the 70's and 80's in the suburbs of Pittsburgh—not known to be the finest time or place to enjoy food—yet our kitchen table was given life and color by my mother's creative cooking. While growing up I just assumed that the smell of loaves baking in the oven was a natural part of childhood. You didn't find canned veggies in our house. The kids' chores included cutting asparagus from our garden twice a day while our parents met the challenge of what to do with it all. Because of my mother's ancestry, we ate pita bread while our friends had Wonder bread; we snacked on hummus and raw lamb while the neighbors had deli ham. Needless to say, I was a lucky boy even if I didn't know it!

Have you ever lived or trained overseas? Where?

I lived in London for eight formative years when I was leaving the world of engineering classes at University and entering the insane life of cooking in restaurant kitchens.

Is there an exotic spice or ingredient that you particularly enjoy using?

One of my favorite spices is a sun-dried chili flake called Aleppo pepper or Kirmizi Biber. It has a sweet, mild heat that tastes like a combination of chili and sun-dried tomato. I'm also a huge fan of miso, especially shiro (white) miso. It adds a salty depth of flavor to any dish, and can replace butter on occasion to create a lighter, vegan option.

Does the design and style of your restaurant evoke a particular place? If so, where?

Design at Public is a huge part of the experience. AvroKO designed, built, and owns the restaurant, and won James Beard Foundation Awards for both Outstanding Restaurant Design and Outstanding Restaurant Graphics for their efforts in bringing a 30's and 40's American WPA-era public building feel to the space. They also hand-selected all the design elements for Double Crown while traveling through India and Southeast Asia to evoke a hand-crafted real feel of Colonial travel through those regions.