littleURBAN: Chef Friends Make a Name for Themselves
Over the years, Chefs Bobby Little and Chad Urban have made their rounds in the culinary world. During their time working in respected New York kitchens, the two have grown as both chefs and savvy business men. After working together on and off for four years, Bobby and Chad teamed up on littleURBAN, churning out one fresh and flavor-packed meal after another. Check out our interview with the chefs below.
Have you always been interested in food and cooking? When did you know this was the path for you?
Chad: I didn't have much interest in food growing up. I would cook with my mom occasionally helping her out and learning from her when I was younger. It wasn’t till I was about 19 and got my first restaurant job that I realized it could be a career path that I would like. I started learning from the other cooks in the kitchen and decided to pursue it and grew to love the industry.
Bobby: I have always loved to eat, so that came first. Second, we grew up on a farm in Kentucky where my mom grew most of our vegetables. We also raised sheep and chickens, which was an early influence on my appreciation for food and agriculture. The next big step was working in restaurants starting at 15. I have always loved the energy of a restaurant from the staff camaraderie to feeding people night after night.
What are some of your earliest food memories?
C: My earliest food memories are from when I lived in Missouri and my family would go to Kansas City for soccer tournaments. We would always go to BBQ restaurants after the games and the smoky smell would fill the air. I still love going to real BBQ restaurants to relive the experience.
B: My earliest food memories are of going out to eat with my grandparents. We didn’t go to restaurants often, unless they were in town. It was always a treat to go eat with them. Also when we were younger, on Friday nights my family would always have a bunch of appetizers and watch a movie together.
What are your favorite dishes to cook?
C: My favorite thing to cook is pasta. I love being able utilize different ingredients and to create different shapes out of the dough. Really I enjoy making all doughs. The attention it requires to make it just right and the hands on aspect is fun for me.
B: I love to cook slow foods. I like when things take a while to come together, soups, braises. Any type of sauce work makes me really happy. I also worked at Laotian restaurant in Tribeca called Khe-Yo, which instilled a great passion in me for those flavors. I love to make those dishes on my day off.
What ingredients are you excited about right now?
C / B: Spring is here and the produce is amazing! Ramps are our favorite this time of year. They are such a treat, but are only around for a short period of time. We try to preserve as many as possible and use them in as many different ways as we can!