Chef du Jour: Cory Hassett

 Cory Hassett

Cory Hassett

Special to the Daily News  By Special to the Daily News

Published: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 10:17 AM.

What do you think your favorite chef would name as a guilty food pleasure? A favorite snack after a long workday? A final meal?

The Daily News asks local chefs those questions and more as a part of its semi-regular series, “Chef du Jour.”

Chef Cory Hassett of The Original Waterfront Crabshack in Fort Walton Beach indulged us this time.

The Appetizer

Name: Cory Hassett

Restaurant: The Original Waterfront Crabshack (“The Shack”)

Hometown: Born in Lansdale, PA, but I claim Destin.

Age: 27 going on 46 going on 14.

Married: Might as well be.

Kids: Somewhat (Girlfriend has four great little boys.)

Culinary School: N/A Accounting major at USF

WhiskHand: Righty Tighty

Accolades: I don’t think there’s a place in this business for personal accomplishment. It takes a team to accomplish great things in restaurants, and I wouldn’t take notable accomplishments as personal accolades.

The Main Course:

What dish off your menu would you serve a loved one?

Typically anytime a family member or close friend comes in, I push whatever specials that I’m running on them. I use them as my guinea pigs.

After a long workday, what do you eat?

Catches a lot of people off guard, but I am a fast-food junkie, especially after a long day at work. Shout-out to all local Taco Bells.

What’s your guilty (food) pleasure?

Two things I could live off of are sushi and quesadillas. All day – everyday.

What’s your favorite flavor combination?

Sweet and spicy tends to be my direction. I don’t believe I have a “favorite,” but I like the way different flavors can hit the palate in a single bite.

Besides your restaurant where do you go out to eat?

I have no issue naming another restaurant when it comes to this one. I love the Red Bar in South Walton. Besides good food, I think they have a system in place that just kills a lot of issues other restaurants have. Limited items on the menu, typically no substitutions, cash only, yet always busy. It’s hard to fault it.

What are your pet peeves in the kitchen?

I have selective OCD. I can’t stand messy work stations or slow-motion people. Also, I am quite loud, sarcastic and eccentric and love having a good time, so no whiney quiet people in my kitchens! I also hate feeling uneven. So if you give me a “good-game” on one side, you better give me a “good-game” on the other.

If you could choose, what would be your last meal?

As simple as it sounds, I think my last meal would have to be one of my child-hood favorites, mac & cheese and hotdogs. Of course, it would have to be Boar’s Head hotdogs with casing and 4 cheese mac & cheese. Always have to church it up a little.

What’s your favorite food to cook with?

I’m not sure I could pinpoint a single food item or ingredient. So many different cultures of cooking incorporate like ingredients but coax different flavors out in different ways. I love to learn and change and take all kinds of foods and see which direction I can stretch it.

 After Dinner Drink

Want to participate? Readers can nominate a local chef, or chefs can participate with their own answers by contacting Features Reporter Lauren Delgado at 850-315-4406 orLDelgado@nwfdailynews.com.

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