Chef's Choice: The Rotten Apple's Jerad Gardner
|Jerad Gardner at work in the Rotten Apple's kitchen|
Jerad Gardner didn't dream of a career in cooking. The 27-year-old studied to be a teacher and made it as far as student teaching. That career path ended when he called a student a douchebag, got punched in the face and was asked to leave.
What didn't work in the classroom works wonders in the kitchen. Gardner creates dishes as honest and unpretentious as he is. He handles managerial duties for Amalgamated Brewing's the Rotten Apple and the Stable, but his real love is for the smoker and for the craft brews that's made Grafton, Illinois' Rotten Apple a destination for St. Louis beer lovers.
|Green tomatoes, frying.|
An avid hunter, Gardner tinkers with a lot of wild game in his kitchen. The night before my visit, he'd scored a bunch of rabbit livers from Kitchen Conservatory's Iron Chef competition. While I devoured my sandwich, he went to work breading and frying the livers. Not that he'd ever cooked rabbit livers, but he couldn't resist the opportunity to give them a try.