1. How would you describe your cooking style?
My cooking style is reflective of the seasons and the marketplace. As a kid my mom and I always went to the local farmers' market and my dad would bring me to the Reading Terminal Market. The colors, smells, and excitement of an authentic market totally turned me on.
Recently I spent time in the markets of Vietnam, China, and Thailand ... amazing variety of live fish, reptiles, fruits, and vegetables. I feel that local markets bring all types of people together not only to shop, but to discuss life and enjoy companionship.
I like to focus on impeccable technique, whether it is grilling, poaching, or sautéing, as this is critical when preparing any item.
2. Walk us through a typical day on the job.
I am up and out of the house by 5:30 a.m. each day. I like to be the first one in my kitchen so I can plan my daily specials, troubleshoot any potential problems, and start making soups and sauces. My crew shows up between 7 and 9 a.m. and we are in full production. Deliveries arrive, fish and meats get butchered, and the line gets set up. We open at 11:30 a.m. and usually do about 100 lunches in 2 and-a-half hours. Pure chaos and adrenaline.
Cooking in a professional kitchen is quite similar to sports; teamwork is paramount. Once lunch is over we start to prep for dinner service, do cleaning projects, put together food orders for the next day, and look ahead to review party needs. It is not unusual to work 12-15 hours without taking a break. It can be grueling but it's lots of fun.
3. What do you do for fun?
My biggest hobby is gardening. I love to tend my vegetable and flower gardens throughout the year. There is always something to do in a true organic garden. The fruits of my labor either end up on our table at home or at the restaurant. It provides me much needed quiet time to think, relax, and daydream, as well as physical exercise. I also love to watch Carlo play soccer and Alex play lacrosse. I am a diehard Haverford sports fan!
4. How did Haverford prepare you for your career?
The Haverford School gave me not only educational tools but also a sense of confidence and pride. I played soccer and lacrosse, and wrestled.
The sense of fair play, intensity, drive, hard work, and following orders instilled in me life lessons that have taken me quite far.
When my children were accepted at Haverford I literally sobbed with joy. Although it is a significant financial challenge, I have never regretted our sacrifice. My boys love their Haverford experience and have made lifelong friends, as have I.
Carlo deMarco is the owner and head chef at 333 Belrose Bar & Grill in Wayne. He holds degrees from the University of Massachusetts, where he studied hotel restaurant management, and the Culinary Institute of America. Carlo completed an apprenticeship at Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia under Georges Perrier.
- The Big Room Blog