Featured chef is Madison College grad

September 26, 2011

From Madison.com: “Meet the Chef: Rodey Batiza of Umami” — 

Age: 30.

Executive chef at: Umami Ramen and Dumpling Bar, 923 Williamson St.

How long have you been at the restaurant? Since we opened in late February this year.

How long have you been cooking? 16 years.

Did you go to culinary school: Yes, I attended MATC Culinary from 2002 to 2004. I studied geology at UW-Madison for a few semesters and learned that I wanted to cook rather than be a geologist.

Where have you worked in the past? Magnus, Lombardino’s, I was a sous-chef at Biaggi’s, and most recently ran Gotham Bagels with my former chef-instructor from MATC, Joseph Gaglio.

Favorite foods: Pork buns, cold pizza, pappardelle with good Bolognese sauce.

Favorite ingredients: Summertime tomatoes, pork belly, kosher salt, chicken stock.

Favorite restaurants: Brasserie V, Blackbird (Chicago), the Weiner’s Circle (Chicago).

Best tip for home cooks: When searing a piece of meat, use a hotter pan for a longer time than it feels like you should.

Favorite cookbook: “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen,” by Harold McGee; and “Jacques Pepin’s Complete Techniques,” by Jacques Pepin.

Favorite recipe: Summer cold noodle salad. You can use whatever veggies are available at the farmers’ market. The noodles and dressing go well with almost anything.


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