Chef Chat, Part 1: Mike Potowski of benjy's on Washington

Competition in the restaurant scene on Washington Avenue is fierce. This week, we catch up with one of the main players, Chef Mike Potowski of benjy's on Washington.

EOW: When did this benjy's on Washington open?

MP: It opened up on December 27, 2008.

EOW: Where was your previous stop?

MP: I was the [sous chef] at Noe. Right after that, one of my friends from Japan -- his family wanted to open a restaurant in Colorado. I helped him with that. Before I left here, Benjy and I were already talking.

EOW: What was it like working with Chef Robert Gadsby at Noe?

MP: He has a lot of talent. He knows a lot about flavors.

EOW: Were you with him during the filming of the Iron Chef America episode?

MP: Yes.

EOW: What was that like?

MP: It was fun. Being from Japan, I never thought I'd be on the show. I had an opportunity to go on the show as a sous chef. It's an hour of trying to knock out food really fast. The one thing I was worried about was cutting myself. I didn't want to cut myself on national television (laughs). ..Everybody did a great job. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

EOW: Were you nervous?

MP: I was stupid-nervous. I didn't know they filmed it so early in the morning.

EOW: What is the pressure like being an executive chef here at a restaurant on Washington Avenue?

MP: I think Benjy has established himself. As long as we follow those guidelines, we're fine. Besides that, this is the biggest restaurant I have opened in my life.

Check back tomorrow, when we take a look at what Chef Mike Potowski is preparing in the kitchen at benjy's on Washington.

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