Chef Joseph Forte

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What inspired you to become a chef?
When I was young I was helping my mother in the
kitchen and thought it would be a great job. Long
story short, I pursued my career in it.
How would you describe the cuisine here at Casa
Well we mix a little bit of everything. We’re a little
continental and a little Italian. Plus I do some French
dishes to. So it’s a little bit of everything.
Is there one signature dish that stands out?
We’re known for our crab cakes. Their amazing. The
blackened scallops are excellent as well.
Are you calm in the kitchen or are you more like
Chef Ramsey from Hells Kitchen?
Sometimes I’m calm and sometimes I can be like Chef
Ramsey. It depends on the moment. (Laughs)
Where do you get your inspirations from when it
comes to putting together a menu?
Some I get from home and I also get a lot from other
restaurants I used to work at. I’m compiled a very
long list of dishes during my career.
Can anyone be a great cook with practice?
You really have to be born with the talent I believe.
You can throw stuff together, but you need the talent
to know how to taste the right seasoning. You have to
have the right touch.
Are you protective over your recipes?
No, not at all. I don’t mind sharing my recipes.
Does it drive you crazy when people ask for a steak
well done?
Yes! It really does drive me crazy when people ask for
steak well done, because you ruin the meat and the
flavor. It dries the steak out.
What’s the thought process behind the correct
I tried to think what would be good for this area. Every
region has different tastes. So I put a lot of time into
thinking what would the people in the neighborhood
like to eat.
So this is interesting. You’re attached to the 503 Bar
which doesn’t have a kitchen. And oddly enough
your restaurant doesn’t have a liquor license. How
would you describe your relationship with 503?
It really is a fun relationship. Customers at 503
can order from the restaurant and I try to keep the
appetizers high end.
Such as?
Things like Grilled Octopus and of course the
blackened scallops. I also will serve the full menu
next door as well.
Are you critical of other Chefs?
I try not to be. If I don’t like a place I just won’t go
But do you expect more?
No, not really. The place could be ugly but have great
food and visa versa.
What would you say to anyone who has never been
to your restaurant?
I would say definitly come down and try it. We have a
lot of repeat customers. Everyone comes back. It’s a
great staff here. We really click. We’re open 7 days a
week for dinner. Please come down.

Yes! It really
does drive me
crazy when
people ask for
steak well done,
because you ruin
the meat and the
flavor. It dries
the steak out.

MN Magazine

MN Magazine

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