Monday, March 19, 2012

Chef's Table Finalists:

A while back I cam up with a small questionnaire to determine the winner of our first chef's table in our new open kitchen dining staff has been given all of the entries without identities and have narrowed them down to five! To vote for the winner please visit our facebook page and cast your vote for the entry number that coordinates with the entries below.

The winner will enjoy a six person chef's table menu, complete with seven courses of food and wine. 
Good luck to all of you out there. Voting ends on Friday, March 23rd at noon!


1. My name is
2. My email is
3. I am a Graphic Designer and food blogger.
4. My parents wanted me to become a Veterinarian / Chef.
5. Penguins do indeed have knees.
6. My favorite musical artist is Coheed and Cambria.
7. My favorite chef is either Masaharu Morimoto or Bryan Voltaggio.
8. I can’t narrow down a favorite all-time restaurant, but three I love are all:  (In Pittsburgh) Sharp Edge and Spoon, (In Erie) Rosa’s Legacy which is now closed.
9. My favorite thing about Erie is the familiarity of it.  Erie’s small feel with big attractions and easy living is what keeps me here.
10. My fondest food memory is going to sound cheesy, but it is cooking with my mom growing up.  She was my favorite cook and really taught me a lot in the kitchen..

 Entry #2
1. Your full name 2. Your email address
3. Your current job
Associate veterinarian at the Northwest PA Pet Emergency Center
4. What job did your parents want you to have?
"If you're going to go through 8 years of school and take out a quarter million in student loans wouldn't it have been better to become a real doctor?" Ouch....
5. Do penguins have knees?
Yes, absolutely.  They just look like they don't because their femurs are short so their body fat covers their stifles. 
6. Who is your favorite musical artist?
The old John Mayer who used to rock out to blues and Jimi Hendrix covers and write thought provoking lyrics reminiscent of a coffee house performer.  Not the post Battle Studies pretentious John Mayer. 
7. Who is your favorite chef?
Although I've never had his food, I think Masaharu Morimoto is a genius.  His dishes are always so whimsical and creative. Noodles made out of Paiche? Taco shells made out of baby anchovies? Awesome. I seriously don't know why the Iron Chef challengers don't just quit the moment they announce the secret ingredient they're competing against him with is fish, since it always ends up in an embarrassing loss anyways. 
If we're talking chefs whose food I've had, then it would be Chef Kern. That shellfish broth soup with lo mein was seriously one of the very best things I've ever eaten. 
8. What is your favorite all-time restaurant?
1201 Kitchen. My husband and I have eaten at a lot of different restaurants in a LOT of different cities (Memphis, Seattle, New Orleans, Denver, the list goes on..) and we always end up comparing it to 1201.  We just really love the unique dishes, the fantastic service (yay Mike) and the personal touches. 
9. What is your favorite thing about Erie?
The way the bay looks at twilight with the sunset fading into a deep violet. 
10. What is your fondest food memory?
August 2007 my family went on a trip to Alaska and I had fresh wild caught sockeye salmon for the first time.  Prior to this, I had always hated salmon since I associated it with the canned version and the much-loathed salmon patties it was made into. In one bite I instantly regretted all the years of unearned animosity I had directed towards this lovely fish and it is now one of my favorite foods. 


1.Your full name 
2. Your email address 
3. Your current job
Student at Gannon, && Educational Intern at Erie County Historical Society
4. What job did your parents want you to have?
A job that is fulfilling, and that they are passionate about. A job, whatever that may be for either of them, that brings them unprecedented happiness.
5. Do penguins have knees?
I'm going on a limb and saying no. Why would they waddle if they had knees? I'm sure I could easily look this up. So you tell me. Do they have knees?
6. Who is your favorite musical artist?
Too Many to list. So how about this, locally, my favorite musical talent are none other then them "is what it is" guys. 
7. Who is your favorite chef?
Anthony Bourdain!
8. What is your favorite all-time restaurant?
Sadly, I have not had the privilege of eating at 1201. (at least, dinner.) Ive been to a few of them taco Tuesday's, and damn. Good stuff. But my dear sweet gentleman-friend Ian Smith does not have the desire to take me out to dinner at 1201! Pfft. I ask, and ask and ask and still, no goddamn dinner. (hence why I'm doing this!)
9. What is your favorite thing about Erie?
What a great question. I was just thinking about this the past two days. Erie has so much ambition. Such a great community of people, with close ties. I hate when people say Erie has no potential as a city, no possibility. With great resources, and a rich history, Erie has given me exactly what I would want in a hometown. And honestly, the constant weather fluctuations keep me on my toes. I love it. I'm one happy Erie-ite.
10. What is your fondest food memory?
When I was in Mexico, my family and I went to some beautiful restaurant in Playa Del Carmen, and ate the best food on the beach. When culture is served to you on a plate, nothing can compare.

Entry #4
1. Full name:
2. Email address: 
3. Current job: Nursing instructor at Penn State Behrend
4. What job did your parents want you to have?: My parents wanted me to be a nurse. I screwed up my life pretty badly around ages 18-19 (but who doesn't at that age, I guess) so when I finally came to my senses I went to nursing school per my parents recommendation. I didn't really want to, but at that time every decision I made took me from bad to worse so I let them decide for me. Turns out my parents knew me better than I knew myself because nursing is a profession that was made for me. And now I am lucky enough to get to teach it to the next generation of nurses, who are giddy and excited and nervous and often remind me of myself!
5. Do penguins have knees?: Yes they absolutely do, and I can say this with certainty because I'm in the medical field. Actually I have no idea but when I speak emphatically and firmly with my students they believe me no matter what so that's what I'm going with here.
6. Who is your favorite musical artist?: Against Me! I'm kind of a shy nerd but their punk music brings out the teenage anarchist in me. Don't tell my students I mosh.
7. Who is your favorite chef?: I would have to say Tom Colichio. I love the show Top Chef and I have eaten at Craft and Wichcraft in New York City, and Craftsteak in Las Vegas. The food was amazing and of course, I got the tasting menu! I took pictures of every course (the nerd in me is coming out again, quick put on some Against Me!)
8. What is your favorite all-time restaurant?: Honestly- and I mean this- 1201 is my favorite restaurant. Of course I loved Craft and Craftsteak but 1201's food is just as amazing and it gets the edge by being right in my hometown so I can eat there every week!
9. What is your favorite thing about Erie?: I am not a big city girl. I like to visit big cities but I suck at crossing the street, hailing a cab, and navigating my way around. I am also not a country girl. Erie is the perfect middle balance where I can live in a city-like setting but not ever feel overwhelmed. Plus, all of my friends and my parents are here!
10. What is your fondest food memory?: Ah, food. I have so many wonderful memories. My fondest memory would have to be with my Polish grandma. She cooked all the time and made everything from scratch. She taught me to make Kluski, which is one of my favorite dishes made by her. I used to get so, so, so mad when my noodles wouldn't turn out perfect like hers! Every time I make Kluski and the cabbage smell wafts through the house, I think of her. She passed away last year from laryngeal cancer and I am the only one she taught to make her Kluski noodles. I have to make sure to teach it to others in the family so her amazing recipes live on.

1. Your full name :
2. Your email address:
 3. Your current job: Graphic Designer, Marketing and PR Department, Mercyhurst University
4. What job did your parents want you to have: One that I loved.
5. Do penguins have knees? My first response, yes. But then I thought about it. They waddle like my grandfather; he had a war injury and couldn't bend his knee, God love him, so maybe they don't have knees. So I had to google it. Yes. They do have knees.
6. Who is your favorite musical artist: I hate this question. Next. OK, if I have to answer, I don't have a favorite; I just like music that moves/affects me.
7. Who is your favorite chef: My Busia (polish for Grandmother). No one cooked like her. No one. No offense.
8. What is your favorite all-time restaurant: Busia's kitchen. Or Kelly's in Key West. It was the first place I dined alone. Love the atmosphere.
9. What is your favorite thing about Erie: 2 things: being close to the water and being close to the people I love.
10. What is your fondest food memory: This questionnaire  is deep. My dad filled my winter coat with apples before we went to the zoo. Every time we went to the zoo. This was year's ago. Bubbles the elephant was still alive. We went straight to her cage (it still makes me cringe thinking of her in that tiny cage) and my dad said, "Hup!" She got up on her back legs, put her front legs up on the fence and opened her mouth; my dad tossed in an apple. Then we walked to the Kodiak bear exhibit and again my dad yelled, "Hup!" Up they went, one by one onto their back legs and my dad tossed them each an apple. It was amazing. Crowds gathered to watch my father connect with the animals. There was a black and white draft horse that was particularly fond of my father. Queenie. He made her count for apples. He'd say , "Queenie, 2+2." She kicked the fence until my dad gave her an apple so he'd give her the apple at four kicks. The animals loved my dad. That will stay with me forever.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sleeping Lessons

Here I am.

After a couple weeks of careful planning, 7-8 cups of tea per day, countless shifting of equipment and starring at walls we have settled on a final plan. Work can be crazy at times and to manage the ebb and flow of business while creating an atmosphere that is visually pleasing, efficient and affordable can be quite the task. We are excited to be getting started this week and I am taking my gummy multi-vitamins in preparation for the 7 a.m- 11p.m. workdays that are sure to ensue. 

While you can rest assured that there are a slew of photos of the project to come, I will be doing a small artist profile on Sir Evan Everhart (who to my knowledge has not yet been officially knighted, I just add important titles to people's names sometimes to make our little world a more interesting place.) He shares the same ridiculous love of his craft and creating new things as I do. We will hopefully be taking a visual tour through his studio this week and snap some photos of the metal pieces he is working on for us!

The open kitchen is going to be home to many things, one of them being our chef's table. Here you will be able to get a front row seat into my world, with customized tasting menus and exciting new ideas that I have been working on. After contemplating for some time, I would like to give the first public chef's table in the new spot away to a deserving guest. The tasting will be for six people and have five courses of food & wine!

To win the chef's table you must answer the following questions and send them to me at, no later that Feb. 28th, 2012.  All answers must be completed and my staff and I will choose 5 finalists, whose fate will be sealed by a vote from our lovely 1201 facebook family. 

1. Your full name (kept confidential)
2. Your email address (kept confidential)
3. Your current job
4. What job did your parents want you to have?
5. Do penguins have knees?
6. Who is your favorite musical artist?
7. Who is your favorite chef?
8. What is your favorite all-time restaurant?
9. What is your favorite thing about Erie?
10. What is your fondest food memory?

Looking forward to the responses and for all the fun updates this week! I am so blessed to be able to do what I love everyday for such an amazing group of people!-Thank you for support!

from the kitchen with love,
                     danny k

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

And so it begins.

My name is Dan, I am a small man with extraordinary amounts of energy. I am a spaz. I have a pink collar job and love every minute of it. I get to cook for my friends and family everyday. I get to light things on fire, play with knives and yell loudly. My employees are as close to me as my family. We get to hang out all day and create what we want with food, then we eat it. All of it.

I am blessed.

My heart is super glued to the restaurant business. The hard work, long hours and stress all but disappear in my mind when I think that everyday, I am creating a moment for people to get together and have actual conversation, experiencing something that I poured my heart into. 

This pseudo-restaurant journal / blog will be a place for many things. It will have more than one author. It will be a place to share the love and excitement that I have always felt with cooking, with you. 

So with many more introductions, histories and inspirations on the horizon, I would like to announce the next big chapter at 1201 Kitchen-where we can share a little more of what we love, with you..everyday.

The excitement of the being in the kitchen is unmatched. The crazy composed ballet of dinner service is second to none in my book, where a behind the scenes look will really bring you in to our world. We have started to remodel our kitchen to accommodate a small "chef's table" bar and a large communal, "farm style" table to host parties and diners interested in something a little different. You will be able to sit "inside" the kitchen, watching the hustle and bustle of dinner service, plates being composed, with an up close and personal perspective on what goes on in our kitchen!

The details will unfold over the next few weeks, with future installments of this journal being about some of the really fun design elements we are incorporating into our open kitchen.

This is the start of a beautiful thing. I am looking forward to cooking for you in my kitchen.

-from the kitchen with love,

            dan kern