Check out my interview with Steve Dunn of The Parish! We talk about the glory that is Food, what it’s like to own a business with three partners, and the challenges of being in an industry that honors both creativity and tradition. Thanks for listening!
Last year I read a book called “Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking” by food writer Anya von Bremzen. She was raised in the Soviet Union before her family immigrated to Philadelphia in 1974, so the book is an account of her childhood through the lens of Soviet history and its food. Her story reinforced for me how food, history, economics, and memory are so interwoven. What kind of role did food play in your life growing up? How do you think food was a reflection of your family?
What is it about the South, and New Orleans in particular, that inspired you and your partners to open The Parish?
I think that really good cooking is edible art, with the added bonus that it affects every one of our senses. Like any art form it’s innovative and, in its own way, food can be very radical. What are the challenges of being in an industry that attracts creative freedom and risk, yet as a business owner you still have to meet client expectations that can be quite traditional?
You’ve been in the restaurant industry for over 30 years. What has changed the most in the culinary world during that time?
The Parish is co-owned by three dynamic partners, you being one of them. Bryce and Travis couldn’t join us today — they have young families, and they had Daddy Duty. It’s great that you are all supportive of one another and that there’s an appreciation for everyone’s need for a personal life outside of an intense business. The million dollar question is: How have the three of you come to function as a collaborative team, and what advice can you give to those listening who are in partnerships and may be struggling with the dynamic?
What’s one misconception about the restaurant industry that you’d like people to better understand?
Chef Travis won Tucson’s 2017 Iron Chef competition, and shortly after that The Parish won an award at an international cocktail competition in Paris with a recipe that your bartending staff invented. The Parish has won various Best Of awards, including Best Place For Out of Town Guests. You have a very loyal following, myself included. What’s on the horizon for The Parish? What can Tucson look forward to?
I feel I would be remiss if I did not ask you: What’s your favorite go-to comfort food?
For more information about The Parish, please visit: