“They’re courteous at Esoteric. They work fast, clean and respond sharply with the only answer that matters in the kitchen, ‘Yes Chef.’ ” ~Chef Josh Gregory, Supper Southern Morsels
Article and photos by Fitz
Lead photo of Esoteric’s back of the house Line Cook Brett McDaniel and Grille Cook Will Muna
Chefs, owners, front of the house managers; that is where the spotlight is focused when reporting on the men and women who cultivate our food scene. However, “The Squad”, those men and women working under the figure heads, often can substantially help to make or break a customer’s experience. Don’t have a line cook that knows their lane and can handle volume? Plates will take longer. Don’t have a server that has read and memorized the menu Bible? They may not be able to answer if a desired dish would exacerbate a food allergy. Don’t have a detail oriented prep cook? Disorganization can hinder the timeliness and execution of finished plate.
In Virginia Beach, one of the strongest Squads you will find is at Esoteric. Back of the House Line Cook Brett McDaniel and Grill Cook Will Muna, under Executive Chef Brian Wegener, have received praise from the likes of visiting Chefs Josh Gregory and Anne Galante when they had The Squad working behind them. This ability to adapt to special events, visiting chefs, and rush hours, speaks to the strong kitchen culture at Esoteric. A culture that also funnels through to the front of the house with The Squad there, with Lauren Spicer, Rose Coates and Devin Escalante, backing up Front of the House Manager Tory Siebels.
For more on Esoteric visit- esotericvb.com