A typical day for Matthew Kane involves just a little bit of everything that comes with running a restaurant: overseeing banquets, creating specials, taking stock of inventory. But this Thursday, he has an extra duty to add to his plate: competing in the B&O American Brasserie's annual Crab Bash — and it's the first year he is competing alone.
"The strategy going into Crab Bash is to create a quick one-hit, flavor-packed bite," said Kane, 30, who has been with the B&O since it opened four years ago. "I want to create something that people are still thinking about when they are tasting other dishes." The Crab Bash (6-9 p.m. Thursday; $35-$40; missiontix.com), features regional chefs facing off against one another to create the best crab dish (guests watch the competition and sample the chefs' dishes). As he preps for the showdown, which benefits the Pratt Contemporaries, Kane took a moment to talk to us about his favorite crab dish, his "Game of Thrones" nerd life and more.
Worst pet peeve? Entitlement. In all aspects of life, assuming you should have something will never get you anything.
What song/songs are you loving/hating right now? I like everything. Music is a constant in our kitchen, and we don't really have a set genre. A very diverse staff calls for a very diverse taste in music.
Your worst habit? I smoke. I know its terrible, but I do.
Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? The small plates craze. At some point you would assume that people would want to eat their own food. You know, something that they actually want, not mutually agreed with a table of friends.
TV show you can't get enough of? Easy. "Game of Thrones," hands down. I am the definition of a "Game of Thrones" nerd.
Favorite and most loathed fashion statement? I wear a chef jacket or a polo shirt and jeans every day, so likes are kind of relative. Dislike: yoga pants on people who don't/aren't doing yoga.
Favorite crab dish? Anything that allows you to actually taste the crab. It is a very delicate flavor, and insanely easy to overpower.
A type of food you've been dying to work with? Wild game. I've worked with it a lot in the past, but it is not as accessible as I wish it could be here.
Favorite place to get a drink in Baltimore (other than the B&O)? Dogwatch Tavern for beers and bear pong, Rye for something a little more upscale and Bad Decisions for some things you cant get anywhere else.
Best advice you ever got? "Work hard, keep your head down, and trust in what you know. People notice." — from a former chef
Favorite thing about Baltimore? I love that Baltimore doesn't want to be like other large cities. It is its own quirky, a little crazy place. Its size allows it to feel very homey, and makes networking easy, but its neighborhoods make it different. It makes a drive from the stadiums to Canton feel like 10 different small cities.
AS TOLD TO JORDAN BARTELCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun