Interview with Chef Charles Coe - Part I
Clean Plate Charlie: Chef, you have a new television show. Can you tell us about that?
Charles Coe: The show is called Catch Clean Cook, The Caribbean. we're a culinary adventure show. We have some amazing divers that dive down and get the catch - spiny lobster, stone crab claws, snapper. I'm only allowed to bring my knives . I can't bring spices or anything. Every ingredient has to be what I can get from the land or borrow from locals. That makes it interesting. I'm getting the sea salt off the rocks. I'm hacking open mangos and coconuts. We go through local people's homes. We knock on their doors. We're interacting with local chefs. Some of the divers work at National Geographic . This is a well put together show. Our editing team and lighting designers are professionals. We also have a bar chef, Tiffany, on the show and a party planner, Jacqueline, so we're really sort of a travelling party.
Where have you filmed?
We've been through the Exumas, Paradise Island, Nassau. Wwe don't go to the touristy spots, we do the opposite. We go with the locals. We've meet some great people. Do you want to take the show to, say a Food Network or a Travel Channel? Now that its nationally syndicated, we can. A lot of times they won't speak to you until it's nationally syndicated. We've been nationally aired on Lifetime. We have people buying the rights, so this show is about to be big.
How did you get this cool television show?
As Executive Chef, I was walking the restaurant and I met these great people and started talking about fresh fish. They said, instead of the fish flying to you, how about you flying to the fish? So I show up at the airport and there's a plane waiting for me and I fell in love with this family. We've been filming and we have 13-15 episodes in the bag. Its our way of life - were sustainable. I'm a certified green chef in the state of Florida. I bring this concept to this restaurant.
How do you bring this green concept to Russell's Blue Water Grill?
Every day I bring in fresh meat, fresh seafood, fresh produce. We don't have a freezer. The first thing I did was take the microwave and the freezer and I threw it away. I'm not planning on making microwave popcorn in the future. Everyone was saying how can you do it? When did this revolution happen when microwave and freezers took over?
That's got to mean a lot of your time is spent procuring food for the restaurant.
We're lucky with local produce and fish. The show has given me leverage with purveyors, so I deal with the owners, not the salespeople. The average dish at Blue water grill is $10 for lunch and $20 for dinner. Mango lobster tempura is the most expensive, which is $22.95. The menus are always evolving based on what's available.
Stay tuned for Part II of our interview with Chef Charles Coe, coming soon.
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