Looking to blend historic Boston experiences with cutting-edge culinary flavor? Look no further than the OMNI Parker House! Savor Boston Cream Pie at its birthplace where literary greats like Charles Dickens and Ralph Waldo Emerson hosted their “Saturday Club!” Just as historic as its location is its food – Chef Gerry Tice follows in the footsteps of such culinary masters as Jasper White, Lydia Shire, and Emeril Lagasse! His food speaks for itself: from the recipes of over 100 chefs, Chef Tice’s Short Rib and Vermont Cheddar Sandwich was selected as one of five winners of the OMNI “Simply Street Foods” promotion! Like all of Chef Tice’s cooking, it blends local New England favorites with modern, exciting style and flair! I had a chance to speak to Chef Tice about himself, the OMNI Parker House, and the “Simply Street Foods” promotion!
RD: Could you describe a bit about your culinary background?
CH: I was actually European trained here in the states. I traveled extensively through the states and through Europe. I attended Johnson and Wales and I’ve been here at the Parker House for thirteen years!
RD: Parker House has such an exciting history! Could you tell us a little bit about it?
CH: There’s a lot of culinary history here! Jasper White, Lydia Shire, Emeril Lagasse – numerous famous chefs have come through these doors, so it’s quite an honor that I got the position back in 2000 to follow some of those great chefs and keep the tradition going!
RD: What’s the overall vibe of the menu at the OMNI Parker House?
CH: The menu in the dining room is American continental with an influence of “oldies but goodies” in the sense of those meals that touched the home roots of people in New England. “Simply Street Foods,” my dish, was based on New England ingredients. I went back to my roots – the braised short rib, the Vermont cheddar cheese, and the local artisan brioche with the local produce for the arugula and caramelized onions!
RD: What kind of atmosphere can diners look for at your restaurant?
CH: The atmosphere in the dining room is very cozy, very romantic. A lot of mahogany; you just get a feeling when you walk into the dining room of generations past, and just a warm feeling overall of a good experience when you walk into the dining room!
RD: How does your location in Boston make The OMNI Parker House different from other OMNI locations?
CH: We’re downtown right near the financial district, one block from the Statehouse! We’re right on the Freedom Trail, so there’s a lot of things hustling and bustling right around our area! We’re right in the heart of it!
RD: What was your inspiration for your “Simply Street Foods” promotion recipe?
CH: The inspiration, again, was through my travels and through my career; my food goes back to my New England roots. With how popular street food is now, I know here in Boston you can go to different corners of the city, to City Hall Plaza, and see the street food and the food trucks, so my thing was using fresh, local ingredients. That was really the basis of the combination I came up with. And the combination I came up with, the thought process was the earthiness of the short-rib with the sweet creaminess of the Vermont cheddar, along with the sweetness of the onion and a little bit of a bitter follow-up from the arugula.
RD: Over 100 chefs from across the globe entered the “Simply Street Foods” promotion. What made your recipe stand out among the other exciting entries?
CH: I think mine was something of the fact that when a person thought of street food, if they had something that somebody gave them off a food truck or in an actual street food fair, it was a simple enough recipe that it was just close to the heart as far as an easy something somebody could really recognize!
RD: What makes “Simply Street Food” different from past “Flavors of the World” promotions you’ve participated in?
CH: The past ones, which I’ve been involved in all of them, those are in conjunction with vineyards or wineries. So, for this one you kind of had to think out of the box and come up with your own. In the past, we’ve matched the wines to the food and did a general consensus from the actual country that was represented – whether it was Spain, Italy, Argentina, Chile, or France. So this one was more to our regions, me being New England Parker House, the gentleman from Dubai, the other gentleman from Singapore, and two other chefs from Pennsylvania and Texas. All of their food was to their area and expertise!