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Chef Spotlight: 7 Questions and a Recipe with Philip Stanton of Park Lodge

Philip Stanton, the chef and owner of Park Lodge in Kendall Yards, poses in front of the wood-fired grill at his restaurant, which opened Friday, April 27, 2018. (Adriana Janovich / The Spokesman-Review)
Philip Stanton, the chef and owner of Park Lodge in Kendall Yards, poses in front of the wood-fired grill at his restaurant, which opened Friday, April 27, 2018. (Adriana Janovich / The Spokesman-Review)

Philip Stanton is the chef and owner of Park Lodge, which opened earlier this year in the Kendall Yards development just north of downtown Spokane.

Stanton, 32, has been cooking for half of his life. He started cooking at Denny’s in high school in 2002 when he was 16.

A 2004 graduate of St. George’s School in Spokane, Stanton went to California after high school to pursue a culinary career. Two years later, he graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, where he worked at the Cliff House and La Folie.

He spent about three years in the greater Los Angeles area after that, working at Spago in Beverly Hills. He also spent about three months in Paris and another three years in Portland – working at the now-closed Wildwood, as well as Castagna and his own food truck – before returning to Spokane.

He worked worked for nearly three years as the sous chef at Italia Trattoria in Browne’s Addition while planning and searching for a location for his own eatery.

Here, he shares his seasonal side dish for Brussels sprouts as well as a dish he’s never made before but really wants to. It just might surprise you. Hint: It involves a pig’s bladder.

What’s your favorite dish to cook at home? Baby back ribs. I always play around with different recipes and flavors and ways of tenderizing the ribs via marinades, then I get to spend all day on the back porch with my boys listening to music, playing and eating ribs!

Where do you eat when you eat out? Izumi Sushi & Asian Bistro, Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie, Inland Pacific Kitchen, Dick’s Hamburgers, Ruins, Umi Kitchen & Sushi and Veraci Pizza.

Who or what inspired you to become a chef, and how? At first, it was the idea of being in a kitchen and working with my hands when I was thinking about what I would like to do every day. I started cooking small dishes with my mother at home, and it was something I enjoyed more than work around the farm.

What are your go-to ingredients? Rice and ground beef. I eat fairly simply most of the time. I also always make sure that I have garlic and fresh lemons at home.

What was the first dish a customer ever sent back to you, and how did you handle it? Honestly, I can’t even remember that far back. Things won’t always be perfect, and mistakes happen. What’s important isn’t remembering the event but the lesson learned, or maybe I’ve just blocked out my bad memories.

What’s a dish you’ve never made but would like to, and why? I have always wanted to poach a whole chicken in a pig’s bladder. Because I am fascinated by older cooking techniques and it looks really cool when puffed up.

What dish or ingredient best represents you? Plain cheeseburger, ketchup only. Because it’s simple and dismissed as children’s food. But that just makes all the important parts stand out. Meat to bread ratio? Softness of bun? Seasoning on meat? Amount of cheese? Is the cheese melty? Is there the right amount of sauce? And ketchup really is truly a perfectly balanced sweet and sour sauce. Maybe I’m just justifying me being a big kid sometimes.

Brussels Sprouts

From Philip Stanton

This is my seasonal side dish for Brussels sprouts. It’s fun for me because I normally add sugars and do sprouts a bit sweeter but that would have thrown the balance off a bit. So I went meaty, spicy, sour, nutty and cheesy with accents of herbs and garlic and citrus. It’s a pretty involved dish for me, and I normally do very simple flavor profiles. But this was just something fun that I thought would be absolutely delicious, and it turned out great!

For the Brussels sprouts

2 cups Brussels sprouts, cut in half

1 tablespoon pine nuts

1/4 cup bacon, diced

Oil, for crisping bacon

Salt, to taste

1 tablespoon butter

5 slices pickled jalapeños

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon gremolata

For the gremolata

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup parsley leaves

1 zested lemon

1 zested orange

1 tablespoon Parmesan

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Pinch of salt

For the Brussels sprouts: Blanch the Brussels sprout halves in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then chill in ice water and pat dry.

Toast pine nuts in an oven at 275 degrees until a light golden brown.

Get a pan smoking hot with oil and start to crisp your bacon, add in blanched and dried Brussels sprouts, cut side down, and add a few tablespoons extra oil if it all gets sucked up by the vegetables.

Lightly salt the Brussels sprouts. Add butter in tiny pieces all around outside of Brussels sprouts and allow the cut side to sear a bit longer.

Place in oven at 425 degrees for about 5 minutes with all the Brussels sprouts still cut side down. Remove from oven – the cut side should be a deep golden brown and nice and crunchy – and toss with pine nuts and pickled jalapenos.

Place in a bowl and cover with Parmesan and gremolata, then enjoy.

For the gremolata: Process all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender. A mortar and pestle or finely mincing with a knife also works.

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