Soulful Cuisine: Chef Chad Gauss on Art, Baltimore Flavors, and Culinary Creativity

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Speaker 1
Only a couple months down. I think I recognize.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Welcome to the truth in this art. I am your host, Rob Lee. And today, I'm excited to welcome on a Baltimore native, a chef, and much, much more at the food market. LA food market, a quality snowballs the whole CP hoopla catering and they are the coauthor of the Food Market at Home Cookbook. Please welcome Chad Gauss. Welcome to the podcast.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Hey, thanks for having me. Very happy to be here as well. I admire your work. You work with really creative and cool people and excited to be a part of the group.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
I appreciate it and thank you and thank you for all the cool stuff that you're doing. Yeah, just kind of, you know, following around for the last few years and going to many of your establishments. I mean, I'm definitely going to get my my official snowball next year, you know, and make this thing happen. So if you if you will want to start off with a very like sort of introductory thing and in a way for the folks who may not be aware of you, but might be aware of things that you've been on.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
I know that, you know, you were part of the Netflix show. What is it? Fresh, fried and crispy, what have you. And, you know, seeing some of your stuff on there. So if you could, like, share who you are, your culinary background and and things of that nature, too, to start off this conversation.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Definitely. So my name's Chad Goss. I'm Baltimore born and raised. You know, I stayed local and I started the restaurant industry as a young man at 14 years old and worked my way up to the owner of the I started the food market, LA food market, a hoopla catering quality snowball food market, Colombia and some other functions which are coming up in the future.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
So that's who I am simply as a Baltimore chef, just trying to make people happy.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
That's that's great. And also author, write or coauthor is another part of the title.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
I'm 100% deaf. I definitely use some of the write the book for me just because, you know, my my attention span is sitting down and typing and writing isn't quite there. It's not I'd rather have a knife in my hand, but I am a published author of my own personal cookbook, The Food Market at Home.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
That's that's really that's really dope. I had this this idea and you know, kind of highlighting some of the the really interesting food that goes on here. And I think, you know, people within the industry might know, but people outside, they don't really give. Baltimore in pretty much Baltimore. Jason the credit for having such really interesting and really good food accessible food in that way.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
And so definitely having, you know, the author of a cookbook out here is is really cool as well.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
But if I thank you honestly, just a comment to what you just said. I mean, Baltimore is an underdog city. We know that, you know, and it's you know it, you know it, You love it. And I've been to many, many, many of the cities in the top rated restaurants in all of them. And Baltimore food is super unique and super soul satisfying thing.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
And it contends with any city I've ever been to. I promise.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
You, it's great to hear, great to hear from someone who would know, you know, as you said a moment ago, you rather have a knife in your hand, which you know, could work a couple of different ways. But I assume in the you know.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
That it gets it only to get in.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
And looking at myself and I it was funny, I went to one of my my buddy spots recently, one of his his restaurant recently. And I told him I was like, I got into a fight with the chef knife and he started laughing at me and I showed him my thumb. He's like, Oh, rookie mistake. I was like, Appreciate it.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Appreciate it, sir.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Yeah, You always lose. I promise you, I'll fight the knife. You lose, right? Right. You can't win by winning. Yeah.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
So talk about a bit of one of those those really impactful memories you have in cooking, whether it's like, you know, one of those first memories, whether it is one of those more challenging like, scenarios and and going through the process and, you know, cutting your teeth and making your bones.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Yeah. I mean, so I mean, with I have a lot of experience. I've been doing this a long time, you know, and that's a question we could probably talk about for days, to be honest with you. But I mean, honestly, one of my favorite memories I have is my flashback. Honestly, every time I go near a speeding jacket, which is something that you make super suits the bosses with in the restaurant to this day, you know, I'd be 43 in a couple of months, and I picture myself as an 18 year old boy on that piece of equipment with kind of no clue what I was doing.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
But I learned how to whip that thing like you've never seen in your life. I used to rock that they actually going to make ten and 3 hours and I could just really, really roll from this picture myself with my pant legs rolled up. Like I've always had one foot on that train pan and just have that whiskey in my hand.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Just just killing this, killing this, this pot. It was just such a happy memory. And honestly, that's probably my best thing that I'm fortunate enough to do, to see myself as a young man, you know, next to that piece of equipment. It gives me chills talking about it.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
That's that's wonderful. That's. That's wonderful.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
I get to connect to my youth, right? So I can't lose it right?

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
We always look at those those things that come up in in our careers and in some of the stuff that we're doing. And it's like, yeah, that was one of those moments I remarked back on it and think back on it is as I've done more and more stuff with this sort of podcast, I start they start thinking about just, you know, progression League 2022 was a really cool year for me in terms of growth and doing this.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
And you know, I'm going to think about that in one regard, but I'm also going to think about the first time I got on stage probably in 2017 or kind of think about the first time I was buying equipment. I remember those things very well. And they may not always be highlights and but those are those memories that that really have an impact on us.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Absolutely. But I could tell you stories for days, you know, like going back to, you know, trying to sharpen knives and cut my hair and having to leave in somebody's car to go to the hospital to, you know, to time writing menus and looking back from now on saying, wow, I can't believe how juvenile what I was writing was and how incomplete my thought process is, where on the other hand, I'm like, I was the only person I knew that was 19 that was trying to write.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Right, right, right. So, you know, it's just it's really interesting. And that's really where I was like it's more internally that it's that it's like a true experience of one time.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Right. Right. So I read somewhere that you're not the biggest fan of the term chef, right?

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Yeah, I don't really love it.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Yeah. And I think some of the some of the folks that I've talked to more and more folks are kind of moving away from that, that terminology. Like, I don't really like it. I'm a dude that does this or I'm a lady that does this or what have you. And I think that that's really interesting. What do you attribute to like, why like, you know, people may be moving away from it all yourself.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Why do you move away from that sort of terminology?

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Well, I've been away from the very beginning, you know, and I've always respected chefs. I wanted to be called chef as chef, but, you know, I've always felt like kind of like I'm a kind of like the one that brought, you know, we're all from the same, you know, we're all equals. And, you know, it's a position I don't believe there's a such thing as a boss, as the manager, you know, like boss gives too much power, Chef gives too much power.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
We're all there for the greater good. And, you know, and it's the same team at the end of the day and, you know, like and a team leader gets respect as a leader. They don't have to be called that to be put on a pedestal to diminish everybody else around them. You know, And I just kind of like I like equality a whole lot.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Right. And we all have different positions in life, right? You know, it's like you have to start somewhere to become a chef. And yes, you earn the title, chef. And I, I can understand the other side of the argument, but for me personally, being known as Chad makes me more relatable to us as you, less nerves around me, which allows me to get into what I really need to do much better and smoother.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
And therefore you're in a better position to receive.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Yeah, it is run less hierarchical in in, you know, again, like I said, I, I really admire chefs. I dig chefs. I dig people who are in that hospitality industry and recognizing that it almost has sort of this military component to it. And in terms of the hierarchy and, you know, the way some people go about it. But, you know, more and more of the folks that I like and I admire and I go to their place regularly and spend money at these places and, you know, is a consideration when someone's coming from out of town, Hey, what's a good place to go?

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Oh, let's go to the food market. You know, it's because of that sort of vibe.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
No, I agree. You know, I just like the down to earth, like our our slogans up to par and down to earth. That's what we that's what we strive for in everything we do, you know, is just to deliver a high at the highest level that we're trying to deliver for what we're offering, you know, at the most down to earth, approachable way as possible.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
So I read that, you know, the qualities and I'm using the term just for the sake of simplicity. But the four qualities of a chef include reliable communication is an observable observation skills, a creative spark, and the ability to serve dishes outside of the box, flexibility and adaptability and intuition. I'm a big fan of odd numbers, and there only four.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
There. If there was a fifth quality, what would that fifth quality be?

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Think relatable. I don't think that's one of them relatable because you can't. You can only go so far if people aren't on your side. I can cook for five people by myself and it still stresses me out. I can cook for 500 people if five people weird.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Yeah.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
I mean, right. You know, think about it.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
It makes sense. It makes sense where, you know, you can have places that I've heard this and it's it kind of relates I've talked to like curators and the visual art space. Right. And they'll look at work and saying, you know, technically speaking, this has done very well, blah, blah. It has all of the markers of quote unquote good art.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
But does it speak to me? And that echoes this notion of is it relatable? Like you can have really good food, done really well, have a great environment, so on, but something doesn't quite click like it, just maybe not for the market, maybe not for the community. And that sort of down to earth thing is more applicable here in Baltimore in many pockets versus like sort of this, you know, always white tablecloth and it's like, no, your audience.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
And I think that's the relatability thing.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Even when I but I, I believe a white tablecloth can do that as well. Sure. Right. You know, it's like it just comes down to to, you know, knowing your guests and trying to just be relatable. I'm just trying to be a decent human being. And I'm not that the people that aren't are because there is a place for food education, there's restaurants for that to even go and be really adventurous and learn something new and this and that.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
But to me, you, me, food and food is like, it's fun and I like food and I do dining as a service food and they cook dinner for yourself and for us to have an opportunity to showcase what we came up with more than I look at it as a chance for me to teach you about cargo or caviar or something that you've never had before.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Okay. Yeah, yeah. It's. Is that is that shorter?

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Exactly.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
So you touched you touched on relatability. I think that's going to be one of them in terms of your culinary style within the overarching brand, because there's there's many as many out of this brand. You know, as I touched on earlier, the food market, food market, a lot of them are kind of early snowball. So on Hoopla catering, describe your approach, whether it's from a cooking standpoint, whether it's from a business standpoint, from a brand standpoint, what are three words that really describe describe what you're doing?

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
What are those three words?

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
We use them all. Graham On the Gordon Ramsay, the six words with 273.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Go on. I like that.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
He's giving you green and give me three all day. Private. No, Graham on the Gordon Ramsay is like one of our fans, you know, like at the end of the day, if Gordon Ramsay comes in or you stay freeze in the order to medium rare, it needs to be perfectly medium rare in the fried thing to be crispy in the sauce.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
And these are not be too much. The garnish needs to be for us to crack like pepper needs to, you know, accent the dish, you know. Meanwhile, Grandma needs to come in and, you know, eat a crab cake that takes her back. You know, being in Baltimore City in 1954, in the first crab cake on the side of the road.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
That's that's.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Wonderful. The food should do the soul. Food isn't a nostalgic food is. It's literally communal with that. It's literally endless with food history.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Yeah. Like I So one of the things I'll share this with you and I don't think I told this to you when we initially spoke. So my, my partner, she, she doesn't eat meat, right? She's more of a she's a pescatarian. She eats meat maybe two times a year. One is for her dad's birthday, R.I.P.. It is like the dad birthday dinner, right?

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
And memorial. And we go for different burger places and the second year that she was like, I'm doing this, we and her started dating. The second year that she was doing it, she was like going to food market. They have this really good burger that was literally what it was. It was just like, and that's the what is the name of the burger, the pet.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
That to burger Yes I'm afraid of it.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
And and that's always like if we were to put out like here's that list of the places to go to that burger's always at the top. He's like, we can't we want to diversify at all. But it was like, Oh, I don't really have an idea and I want something that's always clutch, that's always on point. That's, you know, that gives you put it the pepper, the fries, the whole thing.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
That's the burger.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
He's absolutely so, you know, thank you for that. It means a lot to me And I'm you know, burger is one of those things that everybody has a favorite. And if you told me your favorite was McDonald's. And I said, my favorite was Capital Burger in D.C., there's there's nowhere to meet in the middle. Right. You like it You like right right.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
So you know, so that they hear that super you know makes you feel really, really good The hard to hear that, you know, just because it's such a familiar item. But as far as our burger goes, we try to think outside of the box. You know, we kind of loaded up for you already set out to ask for a bunch of different things.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
You know, you like to feel uncomplicated. And also they can't get high unless they're going to have ketchup. And at the end of the day, that runs the server wild. Anyways, it's just more stuff on the ticket, more stuff the kitchen needs to read. You know, it's just for from a production side, it was more of a hassle.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Yeah.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
But like our, our key to a good burger as we started using the the meat man in New York, the king, the king of meat in New York. Pat Lafrieda you know dries beef it's aged Kristen these that you know into a burger patty form for us and then I think we're the original users of that to my knowledge at least there was that's a market Pat Lafrieda in Baltimore and that was ten years ago.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
And we do that and we used to tell them of cheddar, which is the cheddar cheese instead of Oregon. But we shred the cheese, right? And it's like that she's a mouth a little faster and then then than have that like brawl cheese in the center you know what I mean by raw just not melted. Yeah. And then we what we do, the fun is we take our bacon and we cook it as a medium, and then we pause.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
We've bought a cold and pulse it in the food processor, maintains that with all of the spices. And then we form that into a it's like bacon, basically a bacon patty using a tortilla press. And we play that on top of its foods and then we finish the we cook the burger, you know, a little less than one temperature, a little more than one temperature below.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
And then we put that shredded cheese and that bacon on top of the pot in the oven for a second. So all the big and fat gets that into the cheese. So it doesn't just roll off the melt the cheese the sent into the mouth of the cheese because amazing. But you just for me I'm so particular that even like the burger roll like I don't like a burger roll that's griddled open face I'm the only way But as soon as a burger comes in, it's more important to me that the chef puts the roll in the oven to bake the roll than to put the meat on the grill.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Then you put the burger, but it in close, you get a crispiness from the outside and it comes out. You wrap it, and that's how you let it sit there. And then it seems on the inside. So I, like rolls, are crunchy on the outside and is off in the inside. And we serve this we call because slaughterhouse face off ketchup and Dijon mustard with it.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
And this is like kind of like the match made in heaven.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Yes. I mean, I like I like the way that you describe that. This is sort of like inside dope of here's the background on this burger, all of the thinking that goes into it. And that's that's really good. I'm hearing that attention to detail that is is needed for something that is. So it's all around I think so so prevalent as as a burger is like this was really thought out and it has these intricate details in it that I think someone who doesn't notice like I always joke about, I get a lot of crap for it, but I have really strong taste buds and I know when things are a certain way and I'm

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
like, Yeah, this is on point because of these reasons and having that extra context from you, literally from the horse's mouth, if you will, really adds to that.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
That definitely I mean, it honestly, just as a symbol doesn't mean it's not well thought out, right? I mean, there's art that's amazing and so simple, which is so well planned.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
100%. Right. So talk about some of the inspiration that goes into your menu you were talking about earlier. You know, being at 19 and trying to put together like a menu or have you talk about that sort of like arc into January when you're like where you're at now? You know, you know, being in the industry coming up on 30 years, right, versus like being like 19.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Yep, definitely. And I think that I think my menu, my major thing in menu inspiration is I want it to be kind of like, why didn't I think of that? That's my idea behind all of my ideas are, Gosh, I wish I hadn't thought of that first, right? Like when I read a menu at this, I'm like, really, like cheeky and fun.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
I'm like, Gosh, I wish I would have got that first so I can never redo that, even though I love the idea that that because that's there and it's so obviously there's like French onion rings or spaghetti and meatballs, like if anybody does any of those dishes and well, in this country I thought they stole from me. Right.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Because it's just so unique. Right. Like that's my stuff. Right? So, you know, we were doing like, like even with the Amish for pretzels, beer, cheese, a super popular that we were doing it before, way before anybody was. We were doing half baked cookies or blondies, excuse me, like before anyone was even thinking about how they can do.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
You know, it's just like we're like really, definitely trendsetters in the sense, yeah, we've been doing that stuff for a long time, you know? But I'm like I said, I want to manage to think, why didn't I think of that? I want I want to I want the vegan to be as happy as the pescatarian, as happy as the carnivore.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
I want grandma on the Gordon Ramsay, like I said. And then kind of like the deepest of inspiration. It really comes from just at the end of the day, you know, your chefs are using what's available to you. And again, the highest quality of the time, you know, like I'm not thinking tomatoes right now because the worst time of the year for that.

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Right. Right. And I like that you mentioned one of my my feet. I love those pretzels with the beer cheese. It's like you know, during the 2022 or what have you is one of those things where, you know, we're people that would go out, you know, on occasion, maybe once, maybe once a week or what have you. And because that wasn't a thing that was happening, it's like, all right, how do we do the the take home experience?

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Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
And, you know, our you already know it's going to be a certain like, you know, it's going to be different. It's going to be different. But, you know, you still want the things that you want. So the literally it's like, all right, food market, you know, let's let's spend whatever we're going to spend because we want the things that we want.

00;19;46;10 - 00;20;14;10
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
And always those pretzels, we're a part of it. Always the burger, always the mozzarella sticks. It was it was always a part of that whole, whole move. And I believe there was a dessert and it's been it's been a little while. But I believe there was a dessert that we were always getting this. Well, it made them the blondies and, you know, it's it's definitely part of it in in regardless of, you know, obviously the experience and going to the place, you know, and enjoying the whole set of the ambiance it's the whole setup is important.

00;20;14;20 - 00;20;23;14
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
But even, you know with some of the limitations that was there, you guys didn't miss a beat. You know, it was still like we're literally sitting on food satisfaction.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Absolutely. With the dessert, the Heath bar, crunch bread pudding.

00;20;26;23 - 00;20;28;07
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Yes, actually, Was that. You're right.

00;20;28;22 - 00;20;50;18
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Yeah. Because that's super popular as well. Like, I mean, that's that's honestly our biggest problem is that so long story short, my favorite accolade of my of all of my achievements as being a chef is that food market has in Hamden has been on the list of top ten most booked restaurants in Baltimore City every single month for ten years.

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Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
An open table, which I find to be a really big deal considering that we do not open for lunch or hours during the week or five until nine. So we're only open 4 hours a day and on top of early nights and we're in a city of a lot of 200 seat restaurants, right. So to be that small, that limited an offering of hours and to be that busy, you know, it's pretty amazing.

00;21;11;13 - 00;21;30;19
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
That's what that comes back to is that we have a lot a lot of true that people consider signature. You know like if you think of I'll use something that everybody knows, like let's say like Chipotle, like the only thing really signature to me there is barbacoa. I'm going to Chipotle. I'm always getting barbacoa with like, I don't want anything else about right.

00;21;30;19 - 00;21;41;01
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
You know, it's just what I get when I go yeah but food market, I mean, just you alone and carry out the five things that you have to get before you think about trying something else.

00;21;41;01 - 00;21;42;14
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
This is true. This is true.

00;21;43;03 - 00;21;46;28
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
All right. So I think that's like that. That makes me really excited and happy to know that as well.

00;21;47;09 - 00;22;10;07
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
So I want to stay on the topic around food, obviously. What are what are some like odd combinations that you enjoy? Because I can hear that, you know, you're very like I can kind of get that everything that's on that menu is like, this is the way that Chad likes it. You know, it's kind of what I was getting out of it, which I really I really dig.

00;22;10;07 - 00;22;31;01
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
I mean, if I have my place is like, this is a way to rob it. So this is where we're making it. What what are what are some of your weirder, like food combinations that aren't quite on the menu, but you're like, you know what? One day we're going to get it on there. And now now preface this by by saying that there is one food combination is ridiculous is super fat, but it's very delicious.

00;22;31;10 - 00;22;40;07
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
I like very garlicky whipped potatoes with like cream of crab soup. I like that. It's a combination. It's delicious. What is a combination for you?

00;22;41;20 - 00;22;57;06
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
All right, So, look, I mean, like, I'll never make it in my menus just because it's not the style of food that I do, you know? But one of my favorite things in the world, this is probably sounds so damn stupid, but my one of my favorite favorite things, honestly, I want to tell you, because it's so good, I feel like I need to keep it with just me.

00;22;57;13 - 00;23;10;21
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
But I love, love, love, love, love and everything. Bagel with peanut butter, grape jelly and bacon on it. Laughs Wow. It's one of the best players in the world. Up from like, Go get one.

00;23;11;14 - 00;23;12;09
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
I'll make that happen.

00;23;12;09 - 00;23;24;28
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
I promise. It's the best bagel on the planet. It's like when the jellies dripping off the back of peanut butter on their hands have the smokiness, you got the seed, you got the garlic, you get the sweet, the salty. It's amazing.

00;23;25;03 - 00;23;29;20
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
And then it has the texture thing with all of the the different things that are on everything. Bagel as well.

00;23;30;01 - 00;23;40;26
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Oh, absolutely. You have the cure. The bagel. You have the bacon. Sure. You have the you know, the smoothness of the jelly, the peanut butter. You have the texture of the seeds. I mean, like I'm telling you, it just it's so different. I'm telling you a muffin.

00;23;42;21 - 00;23;44;01
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Look, here's that pop up, right?

00;23;45;12 - 00;23;58;16
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Yeah. I said you got, like, a pop up representing peanut butter, jelly and bacon. You know, But I'm. It's really great. Comes in the form of a little thing. And then when I ordered that people think I'm crazy, I'm like, How about you? You know? And they're like, okay, I'll try it. And then I'll see, you know, this is amazing.

00;23;58;16 - 00;24;21;13
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
That's that's the thing. Like, I you know, it it kind of leans into this this sort of next question that I have. Again, you know, in talking to having conversations with chefs, I really want to get into the mindset of folks that are food people. And, you know, so there I have this notion of like hidden menus and there's certain things that I go to a place I don't need, Like I don't need a lot of attention.

00;24;21;13 - 00;24;36;26
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
I know what I want. I know what I need. I could post up at the bar, just look, I'm going to order the same thing. I always want the same thing. If I go to Forge for sake of argument, I'm going to order the mushroom stew and the Rob Lee drink that's on the menu. It is delicious. And Chris is going to come out.

00;24;36;26 - 00;24;56;03
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
He's going to say, Hey, Rob, lazy blah. And that's what it is. No fuss, whatever. So when you have like quote unquote, the friends that come there, you're you're you're part of service. What is sort of that, you know, that that next level sort of thing that as a chef you do to maybe show love in that way because there's a different vibe.

00;24;56;03 - 00;25;05;09
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
And when a chef sees their people and, you know, they everyone's they're people, obviously. But when a chef sees like, Oh, that's my guy right there complements the chef. Tell me about that. How does that work for you?

00;25;05;22 - 00;25;24;18
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Yeah, So like, and like once again, like this is like, this is where sometimes I feel like I, I get nervous about talking how I feel. Because I feel like as a chef and as mainly as a chef and my creator and as an artist in quotations here, you know. But I feel like we are constantly changing our mind.

00;25;24;18 - 00;25;39;20
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Like, I love what I hate and hate what I love and I change. But I think like so often that like one of my biggest fears that people are like when they say, Oh, Chad doesn't like it like that. And I'm like, I don't even know. I don't like it like that yet, you know, because I change how I feel so often, right?

00;25;39;29 - 00;25;56;24
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
You know, But as far as the food goes, I try to read the guests. I mean, honestly, I don't know your food allergies before I even know your name. You know, like I remember that the chick above me shrimp. And I know who what your name is. I've no clue about nothing about you, not your boyfriend, nothing. But I know that you don't eat shrimp, right?

00;25;56;27 - 00;26;10;07
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
So, like, that's how I relate to people. Like, how do they diet or like, that's the person, I guess, man in your best shopping's gross, You know, like, just like, whatever it is, right? So I try to I try to tailor towards the guests because at the end of the day, we're in the business of making people happy.

00;26;10;17 - 00;26;27;12
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
You know, people come in and either randomly cook for them. I try to cook things I know that they want to eat because there's nothing worse than giving a piece of rockfish belly to somebody that really can't sit and finish fish. Now they have the maximum depth of flavor of fish and they have to eat it, but make it look like they cared about you.

00;26;27;12 - 00;26;29;01
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Giving it to make sense.

00;26;29;20 - 00;26;30;03
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
It does.

00;26;30;08 - 00;26;45;26
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
But you're either. I try to just pull off the best beef I have and season it and grill it perfectly. And just maybe it's a secret sauce that I have in the restaurant I use for something different that pairs well with it or make something short on the fly they come up with just to share the love. That way I love it.

00;26;45;26 - 00;26;48;24
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
It's all about comfort, and their comfort matters more than anything. To me.

00;26;49;00 - 00;26;50;03
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
That's that's wonderful.

00;26;50;08 - 00;26;53;04
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
And I'm sorry I'm beating around the bush answer. That's really how I operate.

00;26;53;21 - 00;27;20;20
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
No, no, no, no. I think that was I think that's a good answer. I think, you know, comfort is is key or what have you. And, you know, again, it's is hospitality, you know, and I think that was the thing that is a reset. You know, restaurant industry, by and large, I think was hit has been impacted heavily, you know, from, you know, COVID and people not having that sort of foot traffic or even inflation and, you know, all of the other stuff that's already baked into the industry as it is.

00;27;21;27 - 00;27;37;11
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
And, you know, like certain things that just don't pop up as line items, right? Like, you know, I used the comparison of, hey, olive oil went up a lot. But no one is saying seeing olive oil on the menu, they know it's used to make certain things. They know it's part of the whole cooking process for many things on the menu.

00;27;37;11 - 00;27;57;25
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
But it's not showing up as a line item, you know, on the menu for the consumer. So, you know, I think some of the folks, some of the restaurants that have succeeded and gone on, regardless of whatever changes they had to do to price and things of that sort, hospitality has been key. It's like I mean, that was the place that I feel comfortable.

00;27;57;26 - 00;28;12;12
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
I'm going to go to the place where my business feels like it's appreciated and there are a lot of, you know, chefs here, restaurants here, that it's just like they forgot that piece of it. They forget the piece of the hospitality that these folks are guests. They're not customers per se. They're guests.

00;28;12;12 - 00;28;27;03
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
I, I completely agree. The difference in five star and four star chicken wings is having enough Mac is enough drinks to not feel like you're running out of that and eating something too spicy and not having your friend to, you know, your friend of your glass of wine or your beer, your water to kind of cool you off a little bit.

00;28;27;03 - 00;28;39;09
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Right. Or you're worried about screwing up your shirt with not having enough mac. And you know that hospitality 100%, right? So that's a huge I think I think I think it's impossible that five star food is that fast hospitality.

00;28;40;04 - 00;28;57;17
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Absolutely. And so I think that that's a good spot for us to start with. The real question. And we were questions. Now I got a hit you with some rapid fire questions and we'll close on that. And again, you know, these these are only fun questions. They're they're kind of short answers to these questions. So here you go.

00;28;59;01 - 00;29;18;24
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
If so, meant mints or gum like, you know, person is like, look, I've got a lot of garlic. You know, let's say you've had a lot of garlic and it's like, all right, I need to go last longer. So this I recently switched the mints. My, my, my girlfriend makes fun of me. She's like, Oh, you add another 35 pack of gum that you're going to finish in a day.

00;29;18;24 - 00;29;21;16
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
I was like, Look, can I live for 5 seconds?

00;29;21;16 - 00;29;36;10
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
But yeah, I like mint too. Don't get me wrong. I love especially candy canes around Christmas. I love them. I could be a thousand. I'm like a horse. You know what I'm tired of? I think it last longer. And also it's just like, kind of like by the time.

00;29;36;27 - 00;29;40;14
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
What is something that is always in your personal refrigerator.

00;29;41;04 - 00;29;47;11
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Ever. She's out of like, basically, like cured vegetables. Yeah.

00;29;47;11 - 00;29;52;29
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
What did you have for breakfast today? I think that's a new question I'm starting to add to the mix. What did you have for breakfast today?

00;29;53;11 - 00;30;05;03
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
So I was today I just started going from some different things. A shit ton of vitamins, protein shake, low fat yogurt with some local honey and orange, five cups of coffee, three bottles of water.

00;30;05;20 - 00;30;06;16
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Did you say five.

00;30;06;16 - 00;30;14;17
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Come all wrecks? Yeah, I'm a wreck. I'm proud of the Atlas rocket. You know, I've been in the sauna today drinking coffee. That's all I'm afraid of.

00;30;14;28 - 00;30;17;15
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Oh, wow. You're definitely getting the night sweats going on.

00;30;17;15 - 00;30;21;10
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Just about you. Definitely. I'm a savage in the morning.

00;30;21;29 - 00;30;40;03
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
I dig it. I need to start going to this anymore. I'm on the back end of this at 36 or 37, almost 38 hour fast right now. And all I've been drinking is like sipping apple cider vinegar and drinking water and black coffee. That's literally my what's in my system right now.

00;30;40;20 - 00;30;44;25
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Wow, that's amazing. You have a phone in my house. It's the best and best I've ever made my life.

00;30;44;25 - 00;30;51;23
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
I think we've talked about this. I am. I am jealous of that. I'm going to have to put one in the backyard. Like, you know, I'm a big boy.

00;30;52;08 - 00;30;59;16
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
They have indoor outdoor. They're amazing. I'm try to this the best. My friend's amazing. I am going to pull it out.

00;30;59;17 - 00;31;08;23
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
I think that once this podcast empire really blows up and I'm to act like I don't know anybody, I'm just going to be in my song or, you know, on canvas and, you know, tweets and things of that sort.

00;31;09;03 - 00;31;10;09
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Absolutely. Do it.

00;31;10;17 - 00;31;28;28
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
This is the last one I got for you. What is your favorite kitchen gadget like? What do you get like the most like sort of like traction out of most use out of within the kitchen. And I know gadgets are gimmicky. I remember the slap chop and all of that, but what is your favorite kitchen gadget right now?

00;31;30;03 - 00;31;48;06
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
I mean, it's not a gadget, but I'm a huge fan of all sincerity in life. I feel like I can do anything in the world with it. But I guess as far as a gadget goes, I love a blender stick. I feel like I like a blender. I like lenders. I think I can get textures and I can kind of like enhance flavors really, really deep that way.

00;31;48;24 - 00;32;06;07
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Nice. Nice. That's good. So that's pretty much it for the questions. And I'm going to thank you for being on this podcast, and I want to invite and encourage you to tell the folks where they can check you out. Food market, all of the things that you're doing, all of the thousand things that you're doing, the floor is yours.

00;32;06;20 - 00;32;26;04
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
Okay, cool. So once again, I'm Chad Goss at the food market and handed the food market in Colombia. I have the Hong College Park that I'm a partner in. I have a food market in Pikesville. I have a catering and I have quality snowballs and a few things coming soon, but I can't talk about it yet. But just keep an eye out.

00;32;27;14 - 00;32;27;24
Chad Gauss - The Truth In This Art
And there you.

00;32;27;24 - 00;32;54;03
Rob Lee - The Truth In This Art
Have it, folks. I want to again thank Chad Gods from the food market and many, many, many others for coming on and spending a yarn with me and for Chad does. I'm probably saying that there's art, culture, food, lots of food in and around Baltimore. We have some of the best food. You just got to look for it.

Creators and Guests

Rob Lee
Host
Rob Lee
The Truth In This Art is an interview series featuring artists, entrepreneurs and tastemakers in & around Baltimore.
Chad Gauss
Guest
Chad Gauss
the executive chef and restaurateur of The Food Market, La Food Marketa, Quality Snowballs, The Hall CP and Hoopla Catering. Image: Justin Tsucalas
Soulful Cuisine: Chef Chad Gauss on Art, Baltimore Flavors, and Culinary Creativity
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