Chef of the Month: Josh Quick of Odette

__Name: Chef Joshua Quick

Name of Business: Odette

Restaurant Address: 120 N. Court Street, Florence, AL 35633

Restaurant Phone Number: 256-349-5219

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Kingston, NY, but I have spent most of my life in Alabama. I lived in Montgomery from the age of 5 to 18.

What inspired you to become a chef?

My dad. We would cook when I would visit him. I would cook for friends and for youth group events in high school.

Where did you train to become a chef?

I went through an apprenticeship program at Walt Disney World. It was an American Culinary Federation apprenticeship program that put me in different kitchens every six months and paired that with classroom time weekly. It was a great program that let you practice what you were learning while you were learning it.

What does your typical workday involve?

We are open for lunch and dinner, so my day usually starts around 9:00. I check on everyone on the lunch shift, check in orders, organize the items we just received and help prep for lunch. If it’s Saturday, I am work the grill station for lunch. After lunch is over, I’ll put together any orders for the next day and prep any specials for dinner, work on any catering we may have, and help set the line for service. For dinner service, I’m either plating or working expeditor, and helping the crew if they get in the weeds. As the day ends, I help them get going on cleaning and organizing, and then try and get home before everyone is asleep.

Who is the most notable person you’ve ever cooked for?

While working at a restaurant at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, I made a shrimp and avocado salad for Mr. Miyagi (from Karate Kid). One night at Coral Reef Restaurant at Epcot, I stayed late to help with a private dinner for Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston. As the chef of 360 Grille, I cooked for President George W. Bush and Laura Bush on separate occasions.

What’s the most unusual thing that’s ever happened to you on the job?

There was a gentleman that wanted to play a prank on his friends that he was meeting for dinner. I was alerted to this when our hostess came to the kitchen and said “there is a man that just came off the elevator, wearing his underwear on the outside of his pants”. This alarmed me greatly, so I went to speak to the gentleman, and asked if he was aware that his underwear was on the outside of his pants. He informed me that he did and it was just a prank that he was playing on his fellow golfers. We let him go to the table and then quickly leave, as to not alarm the other diners.

What’s your favorite seafood dish to serve up for yourself and your family?

We are pretty casual around the house. Fried fish and hushpuppies is a go-to for us at home.

If you weren’t a chef, what line of work would you pursue?

When I was a kid I wanted to be a pilot. Currently, I wish I had the knowledge and determination to be a farmer.

If you could cook for with any celebrity of historical figure, who would it be?

Julia Child. I got to help with a demonstration she did at Disney, but to cook with her would have been amazing!

What makes Alabama Gulf Seafood special?

Making the connections to Alabama, from the fisherman to the distributor. The closer to home we can source products, the more pride people have in it. Our state has so much to offer, and I am very happy when I can include Alabama Gulf Seafood in my offerings at Odette.

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