Chef Chat: Jeremy Massudi of Two Saints Restaurant

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Two Saints Restaurant has only been open for about seven months. But it already some regular followers. The night we visited, two different groups of customers went to the kitchen to say hi to Massudi like old friends, asking what he was featuring that night on the menu. We later found out that one couple comes in at least once a week to sit at the Chef's Table and order the Chef's Tasting. "We bring you small plates of a variety of off-the-menu dishes basically until you tell us to stop," Massudi told us.

But this is not your typical Chef's Table, where you're squirreled away to some back corner of a crazed kitchen. The Two Saints kitchen is open to the small, quaint restaurant, so the Chef's Table consists of cushioned bar stools pulled up to the bar separating the kitchen from the restaurant. You feel as if you are sitting at home watching mom cook some incredible dinner just for you. A few hours later, you realize you've spent more time at Two Saints that you have at home in your own kitchen.

Yesterday, we talked to Joe Rippey of the Vine Wine Room, who is also co-owner of Two Saints Restaurant (12460 Memorial Drive). Today, we sit down with Chef Jeremy Massudi to discuss his cooking philosophy.

Eating Our Words: Where were you before Two Saints?

Chef Jeremy Massudi: Two Saints is actually my first chef job, but I've been cooking since I was 16. My first job was at the Rib Cage BBQ in Groveton, Texas. Then, when I went into the Coast Guard, I started cooking for 200 Guardsmen and took a class on how to read recipes. Since then, I've been fortunate to work at Zoot in Austin and 17 Restaurant under Chef Ryan Pera.

EOW: What is the concept behind the food at Two Saints?

Massudi: I have a French cooking background, but I like to experiment with flavors and techniques. At Two Saints, we feature seasonal menus. In June, we will debut our summer menu with fresh, lighter fare. We want to be a homey, fine-dining destination for our customers.

EOW: Who has been your biggest inspiration over your career?

Massudi: Andreas Exarhos at Zoot was an incredible mentor. He taught me everything I know about pairing different flavors and techniques. Chef Ryan Pera was also a great inspiration. He gave me the chance to cook, and I learned a lot working at 17 Restaurant.

Check back soon as Massudi talks more about Two Saints and the reason for his tattoos.

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