What Chefs Grab on Their Way Out of Town
You’ve probably never wondered what your favorite restaurant’s chef likes to grab at the gas station before hitting the open road. We asked them anyway. Usually these chefs can be found in their respective kitchens whipping up culinary masterpieces, but what about when they’re going to be stuck in a car miles away from their beloved walk-ins full of ingredients? Things could get dicey, or maybe, our favorite chefs will teach us a thing or two about working with the ingredients we have.
Drew Shimkus has been a part of The Little Moir’s group for 21 years after meeting Mike Moir as a teenager. Before landing at Food Shack when it opened, he’d worked in kitchens all over Palm Beach County. Now, as Vice President of Little Moir’s Group and Co Owner of the restaurants, we count ourselves lucky for the signature dishes we know and love that he had a hand in. You could argue his road trip snack also consists of signature elements — if only the Sweet Potato Crusted Fish was more portable.
“I have three boys, so we take a lot of food on road trips, but our go-tos are beef jerky, trail mix — has to have chocolate in it — and, of course, lots of Red Bull.”
started his restaurant career scrubbing dishes, went on to become an Executive Chef for the Little Moir’s group after graduating culinary school, and is now Owner and Head Chef of Coolinary, and its merged sister, Parched Pig. That sounds to us like someone who’s constantly on the grind. So, we’re not surprised that his go-to road trip snack is all business and no frills. At least until the vacation starts, that is.
“I treat a road trip like a workout. That may sound weird, but I need to stay alert, not hungry. A boiled egg for protein, oatmeal bar for some carbs, and definitely some caffeine like an Iced Americano or Celsius. Maybe a banana. Because when I get to my vacation destination, there is no holding back. I typically need a reset when returning home.”
and his taco joint — though those are not substantial enough words to fully describe it — Cholo Soy Cocina, can be characterized in part by the atmosphere of the space. Built and curated by Clay and his family, it’s warm and welcoming with nods to Latin Culture throughout. We could go on and on about Clay’s skills and accolades as a chef (twist our arm), but his road trip snacks remind us of how food is influenced by experiences and those around you. We think that’s a pretty cool note to focus on instead.
“We do a ton of trips yearly. A couple of things you absolutely have to have is a big tin of water for the whole family and a favorite for us is beef jerky to snack on. It’s been something I looked forward to since I was a kid. Last summer we were fortunate enough to road trip thru Eastern Spain for 10 days and we had a backpack cooler full of cheeses and salamis the whole time. We just made little snacks out of baguette and all the little provisions we picked up in each town. That was the most epic road trip food we have ever had!”
knows what he likes ¸— when it comes to a road trip, that is. The Grove Chef is certainly used to carefully crafting and plating fancy cuisine exemplified by dishes like Pumpkin Agnolotti or the Filet Mignon Au Poivre (there sure are a lot of French words on the menu), but thankfully a road trip menu allows for a bit more leeway.
“Traders Joe’s almond, cranberry and cashew Trek Mix is something always in my travel pack. When I get to either the airport or gas station, I’m always grabbing beef jerky (teriyaki usually), salt and vinegar chips (I love chips, I usually have a handful or bag daily), Twizzlers (for my wife), water and an orange Gatorade. And maybe the occasional Snickers bar.”
worked in kitchens across the country, like many of these chefs, before deciding to bite the bullet and set down restaurant roots in Boynton Beach with his wife, just south of his hometown of Lake Worth. Driftwood is known for their local ingredients to create fare with Italian, French and Southern influences. Whether you go for the Smoked Deviled Eggs or the Chicken and Dumplings, be sure to grab Jimmy’s favorite road trip snack while you’re in.
“Boiled peanuts are a must have for me on any Florida road trip. I always go for the Cajun ones. They are hard to find in Palm Beach County, so we serve complimentary boiled peanuts in a brown bag at Driftwood”