Maxwell’s Bar & Restaurant, Francisco Gonzales

Francisco Gonzales, Chef
Maxwell’s Bar & Restaurant
59 Reade St.

Dish served?
It is with great pleasure that we are participating in the 2013 Taste of Tribeca and will be serving two of our most popular dishes! We are serving pulled pork sliders and our famous baked Macaroni and Cheese with our special ingredients. These two dishes on our menu are the house favorites and it keeps our customers of the neighborhoods coming back again and again for more. The pulled pork meat melts off the bone and, paired with our special sauce, makes for a mouthwatering house favorite. This was also voted a crowd favorite at last year’s 2012 Taste of Tribeca. Our Macaroni & Cheese is the absolute best comfort food no matter what season it is.

Beverage/dish pairing?
We recommend pairing the Macaroni and Cheese with a nice glass of white wine. Our Coppola, Chardonnay or Kato, Sauvignon Blanc are both excellent choices. The pulled pork slider is delicious accompanied by our Goose Island IPA on draft or a signature summer cocktail the Dark & Stormy (Goslings Rum, Ginger Beer & fresh mint).

Who taught you to cook?
The first person who taught me how to cook is my grandmother. Since I was a child, I always loved cooking with her and helping her in the kitchen. She taught me her secret recipes, and ingredients to use in our family favorite dishes.

Favorite food growing up?
My favorite food growing up in a Spanish household, believe it or not, was classic American dishes, such as burgers and macaroni and cheese, mash potatoes. My family loved to grill and I loved steak, BBQ pulled pork and well-seasoned grilled chicken.

Splurge utensil?
The one utensil or cooking tool an amateur chef should splurge on should be a good, comfortable knife and good set of tongs. These are two necessities in the kitchen and both utensils you’ll be using all day to cut and grab food with.

Common mistake?
The most common mistake amateur chefs tend to make is rushing and leaving the rest of the workers alone/unsupervised in the kitchen. It’s a spiral effect when this happens and takes more time to regroup and get things back in order. I also feel another huge mistake inexperienced chefs make is over-salting their dishes. If you properly season the dish, there is no need for extra salt to be added.

Cooking injury?
My worst cooking injury when I first started cooking was getting too close to the burners. This takes a lot of practice and training, but when I first started I got burned very badly on my arm and fingers. Taking your time and paying close attention to what is being prepared in front of you is an art you pick up over time.

Last meal?
If I knew it was going to be my last meal, I would order a well seasoned lobster, my grandmother’s baked Macaroni and Cheese and open a nice, crisp bottle of white wine such as Chardonnay to go along with it.

More from around NYC