BOBR: Community Pick
Fred Gallegos, executive chef
Scalo Northern Italian Grill and Brasserie La Provence
Can anybody be taught to cook?
Oh absolutely, it just takes a little bit of heart. But as far as training goes, you just need to want to learn how to cook and you can be taught.
When did you start?
I started making tortillas when I was probably about 5 with my grandmother. I grew up on, not a farm, but we grew our own vegetables. And I have always enjoyed playing in the kitchen with my grandmother, rolling tortillas and baking cookies.
How long have you cooked professionally?
Well, I started my career 17 years ago at Scalo, then I left and went to various other restaurants. I have been running Brasserie La Provence down the street since April. And I started [as executive chef] at Scalo in the beginning of September.
What's your signature dish?
I wouldn’t say that I have a signature dish, but I would definitely say that Italian would be my forte. I do prepare French food at Brasserie La Provence. I have worked at a couple of other French restaurants and a couple more Italian restaurants.
What do you eat to lift your spirits?
I think a good pasta dish would always put me in a good mood. Whenever I’m feeling under the weather, I make spaghetti, garlic and oil, and it always makes me feel a little bit better.
What's one ingredient that livens up any dish?
Good quality tomatoes.
Do you listen to music while cooking?
Oh absolutely. I like to listen to punk rock music.
What food can you not live without?
What won't you eat?
There is not any food that I refuse to eat.
What's the importance of buying food locally?
It is absolutely of the utmost importance as far as the economic growth in our community, and for restaurants in general. You get quality produce and poultry.
Best New Mexican food?
I like Duran’s Pharmacy.
Beer or wine with a meal?
What is your definition of great food?
Fresh local ingredients and a nice bottle of wine to accompany.