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Meet the Chef/Owner: Michael Usowski of Tommy Gunns

This week, food writer Clara Park sat down with Michael Usowski, owner of beloved BBQ haven Tommy Gunns in Manayunk.

What happens when an industry vet leaves the world of hotels and opens up a BBQ joint? Delicious things.

Find out more about the man behind the curtain at .

 

Name: Michael Usowski

 

Age: 41

 

Years in the Industry: 25

 

Earliest Cooking Memory: "Cooking grilled cheese and making soup with my grandmother when I was 6."

 

First Kitchen/Industry Job: "Hyatt Hotels as a doorman when I was 16. I ended up working all facets of guest services but I gravitated towards catering weddings, banquets, Bat Mitzvahs. I've done parties for 12,000 guests."

 

Advice for Home Cooks: "Check out the Food Network, recipes online, iPad apps for cooking. The Food Network iPad app is pretty great."

 

Favorite Thing to Cook: "Irish comfort food: steak (with just some salt and pepper), potatoes, fresh vegetables.

 

Favorite Local Restaurant: Mercato, Kennett, Dimitri's (all in Philadelphia).

 

Favorite Restaurant in the World: "Guy Savoy in Paris. I had a 10 course tasting menu there with wine pairings. I was treated like a king."

 

Guilty Pleasure (food or drink): Reese's Pieces in a jar of peanut butter with Welch's grape jelly or warm peanut butter with frozen candies or cold jelly.

 

Last Meal on Earth: "My best friend Katie made this Christmas rack of lamb with potatoes and string beans."

 

Biggest Kitchen Disaster: "I've done lots of high volume events. One time my smoker shut off in the middle of the night with about 500 pounds of pork in it [the meat was totally raw] so I called up the Smokin' Dudes and they ended up helping me out by smoking my meat for me."

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