Chef Chat, Part 2: Nick Banaszak of Hearsay Gastro Lounge

The dramatic interior at Hearsay.
The dramatic interior at Hearsay.

Yesterday, we chatted with Chef Nick Banasczak of Hearsay Gastro Lounge about his culinary background and how he has become a kitchen superstar so quickly. Let's see what we can get out of him today.

Eating Our Words: Tell the readers something that they would be surprised to learn about you.

Nick Banaszak:That I'm married and have two kids.

EOW: Since you look like you are about 18 years old, I would have to agree with you. High school sweetheart situation?

NB:Yes. We have a son who is six and a daughter who is two.

EOW: What do you eat when you're not at work? Do you like to cook or go out to a restaurant?

NB: I love Reef. Bryan Caswell is awesome. But honestly I work so much that when I do have time off, I spend it with my family, and I like to cook for them.

EOW: What kind of gourmet treats do you dazzle them with?

NB: (laughing) I'm hardly ever home, so my wife does the grocery shopping and I have to make do with whatever is in the cabinet. I love to make Italian food. That's my favorite. But usually that means throwing some peas into a box of Velveeta Shells and Cheese.

EOW: Trust me, we've all been there. What else do you enjoy eating?

NB: I like proteins: lamb, venison. I am experimenting with venison now that it's deer season. I like meat and potatoes.

EOW: Speaking of protein, do you think you would try the grasshoppers at Hugo's? They come on a hot tortilla with garlicky guacamole?

NB: How are they cooked?

EOW: Lightly fried.

NB: Sure, I'd try them. Sounds like they'd have a good texture. And anything fried is good.

EOW: Yes indeed. Back to Hearsay for a moment. What do you have planned for the future here?

NB: I'm excited to be here right now. I would like to do some more pastas. Storage is an issue. We are very limited in space and I would need somewhere to hang the pasta. I would like to get the menu to be more seasonal. For instance, I'm adding more soups now that it's getting cold.

EOW: And finally, since it is that time of year, please tell us who does the cooking for Thanksgiving?

NB: I'll probably bake some bread. We go to my wife's family's and they do most of the cooking. They're not particularly impressed by me.

Check back tomorrow when we sample some of Chef Nick's food and tell you just how impressed we are by him.


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