Jeffery Russell is the Executive Chef of Charlie Palmer Steak DC. He is a Culinary Institute of America graduate whose interest in agriculture and aquaculture is rooted in his early years of living in the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York. Learn more about Jeff below:
Where are you from?
Auburn, New York.
How long have you been working at Charlie Palmer Steak?
I started in 2008 and then went to Denver to open a restaurant with Charlie in 2011. I came back to DC in 2012 to become the Executive Chef here. So I’ve been with the company for six years. It’s confusing.
How old were you when you found your passion for cooking?
I was six years old. I can remember making tomato sauce with my mother from tomatoes we grew in our garden. I was amazed that we had taken a huge pile of tomatoes and turned them into something amazing.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I have a green thumb.
If you had to eat one thing/dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Carrots. I’ve always been a fan of carrots. As a kid, I didn’t eat many vegetables except carrots. They were the one thing that I would always eat, and eat lots of. They are a very forgiving vegetable and lend themselves to many different preparations.
Do you have a role model you look up to?
My brother and father. They are two men who shaped my life into what it is today. They taught me that Integrity is a big part of being a man and a productive member of society.
What is your dream vacation?
What is your favorite dish to make?
Artichokes Barigoule because I love to clean Artichokes. It is one of my favorite jobs in the kitchen. Transforming the ugly, prickly artichoke into a beautiful perfectly shaped artichoke heart is a magical process to me. Taking them from a bitter, furry green globe to a slightly acidic, savory, blonde, tender morsel really gives me a sense of accomplishment.
What is your favorite dish to make on the menu?
Five Spiced Carolina Prawns with watermelon variations, feta, marcona almond, and aged balsamic. I love the flavors and the colors of the dish. It screams summer to me.
What is the first thing you learned from Chef Charlie Palmer?
How to stay humble.