In Conversation : Reggie Tarver
By Will Deeks
Years in the Restaurant industry: 10 plus
Best music for the kitchen: Floetry- anything by Maxwell
From Fenway Park to To Juliet- “What prepares you for working in a kitchen, is working in a kitchen.”
Most Mornings you can expect to find him behind the line rolling omelettes and singing along with Otis Redding. Just don’t come looking on Sundays- they are reserved for hanging out with his daughter. When we sat down to catch up over coffee he informed me that afterwards he was heading to the party store to pick up balloons for her 7th birthday.
When did you become aware that you enjoyed cooking?
Being with my grandmother. She would let me try things out- different recipes. I would wake up in the morning and cook breakfast. Try to mimic the omelettes and stuff that I saw on TV.
Tell me a little bit about you ended up working in the industry?
I remember hospitality jobs being the only ones I could get. I used to apply for jobs at the mall in high school- Foot Locker, I wanted to have a cool kid job- but I couldn't make it happen. I applied for a security job at Macy's- the guy told me I was overqualified. Hospitality always took me in.
I know you have worked at some interesting places- Fenway?
Fenway was cool. Then after cooking at Fenway Park, I wanted to work at Steel and Rye over in MIlton. They had no room in the kitchen so i started as a back server. One of the cooks ended up breaking his leg and was out for seven months. The chef took me in and the rest just sort of worked out.
Juliet is known for and is- I can say from my experiences working here- a different kind of kitchen. What do you make of kitchen culture potentially calming down? Becoming less of a Wild West?
For the rest of Will's interview with one of Juliet's first staff members, Reggie Tarver, check out Volume 1 Issue 1, Winter 2018.