Yesterday we began our interview with Antoine Ware of Catalan. Here he discusses Catalan's unique menu and lets us into his world.
Eating Our Words: Tell us a little about Catalan's mentality and what aspects you really feel define your kitchen.
Antoine Ware: You've got to put in the hours at the market if you want fresh products. We try our best to buy and procure all our products from local sources. Our menu is diverse, just like our staff, and is inspired by them. The family atmosphere in the kitchen really translates into a family atmosphere on the floor. It is hard not to have a good time when you visit Catalan.
EOW: We agree. What's your story outside of work?
AW: I work out a lot. My beautiful girlfriend is a bodybuilder, and we work out together a lot. When I am not hitting the gym, I really enjoy eating Houston's ethnic food. This city reminds me of New Orleans in the diverse food scene. Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Hispanic and European flavors can be found all around town. I suggest Barbecue Inn's fried chicken, the best chicken outside Willie May's Scotch House in New Orleans.
EOW: What job do you think you would have if the chef trade never was brought to your table by the Brennans?
AW: Without question, I would be a butcher.
EOW: Good answer. We really feel that Catalan is lucky to have such a powerhouse sous chef. Is executive chef in your future somewhere?
AW: It is all about timing. I made a pact with myself that Catalan would be my last sous position. When you go to culinary school and invest your time and energy in this industry, it is definitely because the dream is to run your own kitchen. I am blessed to be a part of such a respected kitchen staff, and I hope to translate what I learned here to my own kitchen one day. Until then, I will be holding it down here with Chris.
EOW: Any suggestions for a first-time patron of Catalan?
AW: Our entire menu is so amazing. Be open-minded and expect the best. Enough said.