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Chef Spotlight: Iron Goat’s Travis Tveit can catch a fish and cook it, too

UPDATED: Wed., April 5, 2017, 1:30 a.m.

Sous Chef Travis Tveit of Iron Goat Brewing poses for a picture at the establishment in Spokane on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Sous Chef Travis Tveit of Iron Goat Brewing poses for a picture at the establishment in Spokane on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

This occasional series helps us get to know local chefs.

We’ll learn about where they dine out and who or what inspired them in their culinary careers. Plus, they’ll share a recipe. Here’s a Q&A with Travis Tveit, sous chef at Iron Goat Brewing.

What’s your favorite dish to cook at home? This time of year, my dad and I go steelhead fishing about once a week, so I tend to eat a lot of that. I make pan-seared steelhead with roasted Brussels sprouts and a lemon-dill beurre blanc. It’s quick, delicious and goes great with a pile of fresh dill on top.

Where do you eat when you eat out? Pho Van, Rincon Tapatio, Sushi.com and Taste of India (pretty good tikka masala).

Who or what inspired you to become a chef, and how? When I was 19 I worked for Subway and went to the bank with my friend Joe. He worked for Max at Mirabeau at the time and I saw him deposit a check for $1,100, which was WAY more than I made. So after that I decided I should learn how to cook. The Portland food scene also influenced me heavily. People were happy to spend money on fresh and quality plates, which was something I hadn’t seen in Spokane. I loved that. I signed up for culinary school.

What are your go-to ingredients? Coarse kosher salt, quality olive oil for finishing, lemon zest and juice and cilantro. It’s my favorite fresh herb: super versatile, fresh flavor and appearance.

What’s a dish you’ve never made but would like to, and why? I have never rolled sushi. I would love to learn the technique: how to correctly cook the rice, how to handle the seafood, how to make it look “nice.” It seems like sushi is gaining popularity in Spokane, and I just think I should know how to make it.

What was the first dish a customer ever sent back to you, and how did you handle it? The first dish I had sent back that I really remember was a split burger with different sides (one salad, one fries) at Wild Sage. They wanted the two sides of the burger to have different “doneness” (one medium-rare, one medium-well). It got sent back, and I had to redo the whole thing. It was the end of the night. I was tired. It sucked.

What dish or ingredient best represents you? My spirit food is nachos. I love them. Cheese, meat, chips, beans, cilantro (duh), more cheese and TONS of guacamole. I could eat them everyday.

Pan-seared Steelhead with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Lemon-Dill Beurre Blanc

From Travis Tveit of Iron Goat Brewing

For the fish:

2 ounces light olive oil or canola oil

1 (6-ounce) filet, skin off, de-boned

Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat sauté pan on high with oil. When pan is hot, sear filet skin-side up for about a minute. Flip it over and cook the other side for another minute and turn the burner off.

For the Brussels sprouts:

1 pound Brussels sprouts

1.5 ounces olive oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

Cut off root end of sprouts and cut in half. Peel off all loose leaves.

In a bowl, combine sprouts, olive oil and salt and pepper.

Spread sprouts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

For the lemon-dill beurre blanc:

1 tablespoon shallot, minced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1/3 cup Chardonnay

1 cup heavy cream

1 stick butter, cut into 8 pieces

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

Freshly chopped dill, to taste

In a saucepan, gently sauté shallot and garlic over medium heat. Increase heat to high and let the pan heat up, then deglaze the pan with Chardonnay. Let that mixture reduce until almost no liquid remains (au sec) and turn it back down to medium heat. Add heavy cream and cook about 10 minutes. When the sauce has a tan color and looks like it has thickened, turn off the heat. Then, add butter, 2 slices at a time, until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Finish with lemon juice and freshly chopped dill.

Iron Goat Brewing is located at 1302 W. Second Ave. in downtown Spokane. Call (509) 474-0722.


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