Join us Sunday at the main market tent for a cooking demonstration and delicious samples by John Russ, Chef, Alamo City Provisions, San Antonio, TX
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A New Orleans native, John Russ’ deep love and appreciation for food is in his genetic code. Thankfully for food lovers, he succumbed to his culinary destiny, utilizing what he learned about cooking from his New Orleans-based, food loving family in his kitchen today. Family dinners and holidays were spent learning the basics through solid recipes and techniques, which he describes as the “soul of New Orleans food.” These basics included catching snapping turtles to make the New Orleans classic, turtle stew, and sauce piquante. Russ is still inspired today when he sees the tangible differences that food can make in a person’s life, just like it did in his own.
Russ began his culinary career at The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans in 1999 as a cook, then moved to Restaurant August in 2001, where he formed his relationship with celebrity chef, John Besh. Considering Besh a mentor, Russ states that Besh “truly understands and lives the passion of service.’’ During his time at August, Russ learned the importance of forming relationships with farmers and fishermen, which would later be reinforced by his time working on farms in Alabama, New Hampshire and New York. After spending time in Europe and on the East Coast between 2006 and 2012, Russ returned to the Besh Restaurant Group as chef de cuisine at Lüke Riverwalk in San Antonio, at the invitation of chef Besh. Proving he had the chops to run a kitchen, Russ became the executive chef at Lüke Riverwalk in 2012, where he not only oversees all kitchen aspects, but also makes it a point to pay special attention to his younger cooks to cultivate an educational environment. While maintaining a service- oriented atmosphere at Lüke, Russ strives to further staff education so his team can thrive in the kitchen and in the dining room while simultaneously learning to be better.
In August 2014, Russ launched Alamo City Provisions as a collaborative dinner series where and he and his fellow chef peers co-create a themed menu revolving around the dinner’s location. From an old theater with a Prohibition theme, to a dinner in a library with dishes inspired by literature, Alamo City Provisions is quickly becoming a creative outlet for San Antonio chefs to prepare different types of cuisines outside of their restaurants, making every dinner a completely unique experience from the last.