Food & Drink

Chef Drew Dzejak of the River House: 'Homemade ranch dressing. I think it's the new ketchup'

Drew Dzejak is the executive sous chef at the River House in Palmetto Bluff.
Drew Dzejak is the executive sous chef at the River House in Palmetto Bluff. Submitted photo

Chef: Drew Dzejak, executive sous chef

Restaurant: River House

Town: Palmetto Bluff

I knew I wanted to be a chef when: I was a young child cooking in the kitchen with my grandmother and cooking at the church with my mother. It is all I know and all I ever wanted to do.

My favorite condiment in the entire world is: Homemade ranch dressing. I think it's the new ketchup, from a dry form on popcorn to dipping spicy chicken wings.

The one food I can't have in the house because I'll eat all of it: Black truffle pierogies. Boiled and sauteed in butter with onions -- It doesn't get any better than that.

An ingredient that I'm still learning to work with: The cultural food of the Philippines. We now have a couple of international students in the River House kitchen who are from the Philippines, and I enjoy learning the new dishes like adobe. I'm also learning varieties of new chilies and their uses. The way the students put sweet, salty and hot together to create new flavors is exciting.

Food everyone should try at least once: Foie gras. The way it melts in your mouth and adds a richness to any dish. For the first time, I suggest small bites with a nice steak, and you will be hooked. I have not found anything that it doesn't pair well with, from steak, to tuna, to peanut butter.

Follow reporter Erin Shaw at twitter.com/IPGB_ErinShaw.

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