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Everything you need to know about the Richmond Region in a short video!
Chef Mark Bauer heads the 2113 Bistro Culinary Team. Raised in a family full of skilled culinarians and restaurant managers, Chef Mark has a natural passion for food and an innate talent for the culinary arts. A Richmond native, Chef Mark has a deep connection to the Region's vibrant foodie community. Chef Mark's New American cuisine unites local favorites with exciting new flavors. Thanks to the talent of his entire culinary team, 2113 Bistro's fare not only reflects the restaurant's "Simple Sophistication"TM motto, it also embodies the innovative and traditional energies that define the City of Richmond.
1) What is your favorite style of cooking?
Although I was raised Southern, I truly like all styles of food and cooking. I enjoy sampling different foods, observing the techniques of other chefs and using my five senses to learn as much as I can about food and those who prepare it. This ignites my imagination and helps me create my own, unique style when I step into my kitchen at 2113.
2) What are the top 5 tips or suggestions you would give a novice cook?
3) Who was the biggest inspiration for your career?
My biggest inspirations were my parents and grandmother. All three were professionally trained executive chefs. I was also influenced by Graham Kerr and Julia Child. I was actually able to cook for her! Today, I admire the work of Chefs Gordon Ramsey and Anthony Bourdain. I also enjoy Paula Deen's work. Must be the Southern boy in me!
4) What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
I equate being a chef to being an artist. I get the same satisfaction creating a work of art on a plate and watching my guests enjoy each bite as a painter does when he sees patrons admiring and discussing his latest masterpiece at an art exhibit. The only difference is that my guests get to eat my work.
The act of eating is a multi-sensory experience. People begin to eat with their eyes, then with their nose and mouth. Even the ears are a part of the eating process. This is both a blessing and a curse for a chef as it allows his guest to be fully immersed in his creation, but it also means that his work must be perfect from every sensory perspective. I love that challenge. Just like any other artist, a chef is only as good as his last plate.
5) What are the hottest culinary trends for the 21st Century?
6) How long have you been working the Richmond Region?
I have been in Richmond almost all of my life and have been cooking in the area for about 26 years.
7) What do you think the Richmond Region's culinary scene can offer that other locations can't?
Richmond has a lot to offer in terms of food. The climate is great for growing fruits and vegetables and raising livestock. We have access to fresh and salt-water seafood. Everything a chef could want or need in terms of fresh, local ingredients is at his disposal. Perhaps most importantly, the Region has a community of people who love and appreciate good food. The recent "foodie movement" has produced a healthy interest in the culinary community. This is not only great for me as a chef, it's part of what is driving the Renaissance of the Richmond Region. I am truly fortunate to have been selected to head the kitchen at 2113 Bistro because I believe that it embodies the Region's revitalization efforts. I hope 2113 Bistro is helping to unite Richmond's artistic, business and culinary communities under one roof by successfully integrating our innovative cosmopolitan energy with the rich traditions of the Region.
8) Now we know your favorite style of cooking, but what is your favorite food to eat?
There's an old saying: "Never trust a skinny chef." I used to be overweight, so I guess I'm a very trustworthy chef! I made a life decision to drop the weight I'd put on over my many years in the kitchen. I now have more energy and even greater confidence in my culinary skills. I enjoy lighter fare including fresh seafood, local vegetables and lots of green salads. The great thing about food is that you can always eat great, no matter what your weight goals are.
"Think positive, life will be positive."