Chef Tim Thomas of Southern Belle

Chef Tim Thomas of Southern Belle

How long have you been a chef? I've been cooking for a total of about 16yrs 

What inspired you to open up Southern Belle? Southern belle Started out as a pop up restaurant called Brisket Brothers focusing on bbq. The pop up was successful and from there I wanted to bring southern cuisine to the Jenkintown area

Did you experience any struggles during the process of opening up your own restaurant? I did another pop up called Southern Belle supper Sundays and no one really came out. So I would say just getting people to be enthused about the restaurant was my only struggle because I felt no one would respond the way they are now

Creating a menu seems to be a challenging thing. What was the inspiration behind creating yours? Following in the footsteps of the Fat Ham by Kevin Spraga, his small plates concept inspired my menu but using my own flair and creative mind

Which ingredient/ingredients do you most enjoy working with? I really enjoy using seafood of all kinds because it's versatile and it takes practice to master the cooking of the different species

Do you have a signature dish, or favorite dish, that you always have fun preparing?  I don't have a signature dish but again playing with ingredients of the sea are always a great time for me 

How important is it for you to use locally grown food/products? The importance of locally grown produce is a hit and miss because while you support the local framers and keep them in business you have to outsource sometime because you may need one ingredient to complete a dish/vision or flavor profile of a dish 

There aren't many restaurants that serve southern cuisine within the Montgomery county area. What can Southern Belle add to their dining scene? When you have a specific cuisine that you're offering to people, you have tradition and identity. Southern cuisine is inspired by many cultures and culinary influences such as French and African. So we at Southern Belle want to bring another look at familiar flavors just prepared in the southern comfort way

Is there anyone who's made an impact or played an important role through your culinary career? A chef by the name of Jerome Powers who I've worked under and has been friends with for over 10yrs is like a brother to me. I reach out to him often when I'm having a hard time finalizing a dish. So I look for his incite to try and put things into prospective

What advice would you give to someone who's interested in opening their own restaurant? Advice for someone opening a restaurant? Do your research of the area, whats there what's not there, what the natives expect and how are you gonna be different in a good way. What will you do if things don't work out at first and what will you do to stay relevant

 

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