Nicolas Bour, executive chef of Humphreys Restaurant, brings a global experience to their diners. Chef Nic utilzes local ingredients and produce to create a variety of dishes. On this episode of In the Kitchen, he talked about his summer seafood dish, his passion for food and his challenges when it comes to creating new dishes.
Catalina Spot Prawn, Ahi Crudo and Uni $14
What's the story behind this dish?
The dish is all about local seafood and summer ingredients from local waters. The Catalina spot prawn is a local item that is loved by chefs yet not available all the time, and locally harvested Uni (sea urchin) is one of the treasures of our coast. Add house-made ginger beer, citrus and some heat from jalapenos as well as a bit of avocado, radishes and sea beans and you have a true taste of the Pacific.
Describe the taste to someone who hasn't had this dish?
The ingredients are all raw, so any sushi lover would be in heaven, both simple flavors and various textures with citrus to round it off.
What's a good beverage to pair with this dish?
I would serve it with a ginger beer, a tequila-based cocktail or a bottle of Left Hand Brewing’s Good Juju, a ginger-infused ale from Colorado.
Watch as chef Nic utilizes three coastal flavors and textures to create this tasty summertime dish.
What kind of experience will a diner get at Humphreys?
A sleek dining room with a seasoned staff that loves to entertain and food that doesn’t re-invent the wheel but focuses on great local ingredients.
About Nicolas Bour
Are you from San Diego?
I was born in Providence R.I. because my father was a French professor at Brown University. I've lived in San Diego for just over six years.
Did you always want to be a chef growing up?
I've always loved food and eating. My mom is a tremendous cook and we had a farm to harvest from, so yes, food is in my blood, not to mention my European heritage, meals were a big deal in my house growing up.
What has your journey been like leading up to your current position as executive chef for Humphreys?
As any chef would tell you, it’s a long and arduous journey filled with some extreme highs and lows. You really have to love what you do to be happy. I love cooking and running a kitchen.
What is your favorite dish on Humphreys' menu?
I love the lamb dish which is inspired by my travels to the south of France. Eggplant, slow cooked tomato, capers, citrus, squash, and of course, the delicious lamb which is sourced domestically. It is a transporter back to some great times in my life. Food and smells are often a catalyst for memories.
What motivates you as a chef?
Being able to offer people not only sustenance, but an overall experience with some element of predictability with surprises thrown in. Never judge a book by its cover, a standard dish can often hide a new experience.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge when it comes creating new dishes?
It can be difficult to predict supply in many cases, as the earth becomes more populated and supplies of popular items dwindle, one must be able to look past the staple items and discover new ones. It’s important to remain open-minded.
When you're not coming up with delicious dishes, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Spending time with my wife and 4-year-old daughter. I’m either at work or with them. I cook at home as much as possible and Mia, my daughter, has become my little sous chef. Preparing meals at home is very therapeutic.