Andrew Jones, noted Kentucky chef and restaurateur, has recently become general manager of a new venue; Hanger’s restaurant in Richmond. Hanger’s is a continental style restaurant located just off of Lexington Road. Mr. Jones took the time to answer some of our questions about local food culture.
Cultural Trends Examiner: I understand, from your past experience, that you have a desire to bring more culture to your area and to educate people about food. Would you say that’s one of your goals as general manager of Hanger’s?
Andrew: The menu is directed toward a more evolved palate, along with items that are sure to entice everyone. We will be adding more steaks to the menu, including a ribeye, porterhouse, and prime rib, along with lighter fare, such as grilled chicken over liguine with basil pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese.
The goal from day one, as I said to my business partner, was that I wanted to show that this business could work and bring to the area another hospitality venue, then another, and another.
CTE: My research indicates that you’re not just a casual traveller, but a dedicated world traveller. What recipes have you gathered from your international experiences to add to your current menu?
Andrew: One of the greatest experiences that I have had, and still crave more of, is travelling abroad and experiencing many different cultures. I like to combine the most memorable culinary experiences from my travels into my menus to help teach others to experience what a wonderful world we live in. As a wise woman once said, “Life is a banquet and most poor sons of b**ches are starving to death.” I want to play some part in changing that for people in the Richmond area, where there hasn’t traditionally been a lot of diversity in dining options.
For instance, we have Tuna Tutaki , which is of Japanese influence. We are getting ready to add curried couscous with a grilled mahi mahi and mango salsa, and that’s a fusion of Indian and the Caribbean. We are putting a Pimms Cup on our speciality cocktail menu – that is as British as it gets. We also serve mojitos, which originated in Cuba. I haven’t been to Cuba, yet, but I’d love to visit there. We also have several dishes that combine Mediterranean influences. We use kalamata olives, feta cheese and sundried tomatoes
CTE: What do you have that nobody else in the area is serving?
Andrew: We are the only restaurant in Richmond that offers the overall type of food that we use; meaning fresh, prepared to order, and with the freshest and highest quality ingredients available. We use locally-produced ingredients whenever possible. We are also updating our wine list.
CTE: Do you feel like your customer base is pretty adventurous, or more so than in past years?
Andrew: Yes; we do have somewhat of an adventurous customer base. I think that everything has to be continually evolving; businesses, people, culture and life. Once you quit learning, you might as well start dying!
CTE: What advice would you give to an adventurous home cook?
Andrew: Don’t to be afraid, do it, go for it! If you see something that interests you, something that appeals to you, make it your own. Conquer it and then make it better.
CTE: That sounds great. Is there anything else you’d like to add for the ovalpike.com readers?
Andrew: Life is short; live it, love it, make it your own!
CTE: Thank you for your time, Mr. Jones, and good luck with your new restaurant.
Andrew: Thank you very much.