Getting to know Chef Marshall Blanchard
From Connecticut to Kaua‘i, Chef Marshall Blanchard has cooked his away across the country. Blanchard, who was born and raised in Wilton, Conn., made a name for himself in the Vail and Beaver Creek area, spending the last 11 years as the executive chef at D’Oro and The Golden Eagle.
He hosted a monthly cooking show featured on Vail’s TV8. A regular competitor at the Beaver Creek Food Network culinary festival, Blanchard also worked with “Bon Appetit” and “Food & Wine Magazine.”
Blanchard and his family recently migrated to Kaua‘i and The Beach House Restaurant said it is delighted to have him as part of its executive team, where he presides over the kitchen with a skilled hand and a watchful eye.
Q: Why did you become a chef?
Chef Marshall: It was something I was really good at. In college (at the University of Colorado), I skied better than going to school. I worked in the restaurant, had a natural knack for it and ended up pursuing that.
Q: Where did you train?
Chef Marshall: My training was in New York at the Culinary Institute of America, then I went to its baking school in St. Helena, Calif.
Q: Who are some of your influences?
Chef Marshall: That’s tough. I take a little bit of this and little bit of that. I wouldn’t say anybody in particular. I tend to go through menus and seize things that appeal to me.
Q: What are some of your favorite dishes to prepare?
Chef Marshall: I like fresh fish. We serve a lot of it here at The Beach House. I like using spicy/sweet style, fresh vegetables. I haven’t had time to put my own touch into the restaurant just yet, since we’re really busy and there’s still so much to learn.
Q: What do you like to eat?
Chef Marshall: Uncooked and raw. I like sushi, spicy food and Thai. I eat what comes out of my cooking style.
Q: Any favorite wines?
Chef Marshall: Cold chardonnay: Saintsbury chardonnay, Rombauer chardonnay and Williams Selyem is a particular liking of mine. It’s quite delicious.
Q: How do you keep up with food trends?
Chef Marshall: I try to keep up on the Internet as best as possible. Being a chef, I don’t have much time to go out to restaurants. I’ve been going back to Culinary Institute of America every couple of years to take brush up courses so I don’t get left behind.
Q: There are an abundance of aspiring chefs on Kaua’i. What advice do you have for them?
Chef Marshall: You have to really like what you’re doing. I live in this restaurant. I see these guys more than my family. You have to have a passion for it, because I really love what I do. There’s a lot of long hours. If you can’t handle that, then it’s not for you.
Q: What are some of your proudest accomplishments?
Chef Marshall: I taught at the Culinary Institute in Colorado Mountain College, and I’m also online with the Kaua‘i Community College culinary program. It’s an honor to instruct students, passing my knowledge on to other people.
Q: Anything else that you would like to add?
Chef Marshall: I’m pretty fresh on the island so I’m just trying to go with the flow, trying to understand people’s tastes. I love Kaua‘i. I’ve been coming here for the last 10 years, and now that I live here, I enjoy every minute of it.
The Beach House restaurant at 5022 Lawai Rd. in Po‘ipu is open daily with lunch available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., light fare from 3 to 5:30 p.m. and dinner from 6 to 10 p.m. The lounge is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For reservations call (808) 742-1424 or go www.the-beach-house.com.