Our First Friday feature this month is a chef born and raised in Philadelphia, whose one of the most in demand restaurant and hospitality chef consultants across North America and overseas. Chef Brian Duffy, well-known for his appearances on Spike TV’s Bar Rescue, NBC10 Morning Show and The Food Network is constantly cooking up something, and we had the opportunity to sit down with him to learn about his background and upcoming ventures.
Learn about his passion for the culinary industry, and what “Duffified Experience Group,” “Duffified Live” and the “Duffified” meaning through a Q&A with this celebrity chef, dad and all around great guy below.
PPRG: How did it all begin for you? What inspired you to pursue a career in the culinary business?
I graduated in 1994 from The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, so I’ve been a chef for over 20 years. Growing up, my siblings and I were always in the kitchen helping our Irish-Italian parents cook. At times, we would even prepare our own meals! My brothers are still pursuing their culinary passion and were recently featured in a Philadelphia Inquirer for their new Amazon show, ‘Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse.’
PPRG: That’s fantastic that you and your brothers share the same passions! How did you find your own way to becoming an entrepreneur and creating your own consulting group?
As a chef, I am constantly reinventing myself to stay ahead of myself. In 2012, I formed a consulting group called, “Duffified Experience Group.” Duffified comes from the idea that we do everything in our power to experience things, to never saying no, and to ultimately create and find an experience. It’s very easy to say no. When you get used to NOT saying no, then the whole world opens up to you. My goal is to share with my clients that the art of the preparation creates the experience.
PPRG: That mentality has landed you some amazing press opportunities. With TV and media appearances on Spike TV, DIY Network, HGTV, NBC, Fine Living Network and a cover on Main Dish Magazine… just to name a few. How did opportunities like these come about?
It’s truly all about who you know and being easy to work with; other great opportunities will follow! (It also doesn’t hurt to cook for the production team you’re being featured on).
PPRG: You also have a new show called “Duffified Live” that you host and produce. What is the concept?
I’m extremely excited to air Duffified Live within the next two-three weeks. The concept is eat, drink and travel; experienced on the road. I’ll have specials guests on the show every week, lasting between an hour and an hour in a half. Listeners are welcome to call into the show to ask me or the guest a question. Don’t worry, if you miss the radio show, it will be up on iTunes (for free) the following week.
PPRG: Speaking of eating and drinking, you announced earlier this summer your plans to open a new restaurant with Flying Fish Brewing Co. in the Brewerytown neighborhood. What can we expect?
Flying Fish was at the top of my list because it’s local, artisanal and the diversity is unmatched. Soon to be opened in October, the 8,000 sq. ft. Flying Fish Crafthouse will be an urban eatery with a lot of signature Philly flair to it, as well as some personal touches. The menu will be focused on handcrafted burgers and sandwiches paired with over a dozen Flying Fish beers. I’m really looking forward to opening a restaurant in this area of Philadelphia with this type of volume, because there is truly nothing like it in or around Brewerytown area.
PPRG: Congratulations on being selected as 1 of the 7 celebrity chefs for My City Gives’ Beats ‘N Eats event at The Fillmore this September. With proceeds benefiting Philabundance and the Philadelphia Music Alliance, how do you feel about being a part of such an incredible event?
Katie Everett and the My City Gives team are amazing! What they can do is unmatched and is always for a great charity. I’m really looking forward to the Beats ‘N Eats event and what Katie’s team has in store for everyone.
PPRG: How do you do it all? What motivates you to keep doing more?
My parents and siblings are my incredible support system. I have such a great team of people, and I couldn’t do what I do without them. To be honest, boredom keeps me motivated! My creative brain constantly keeps me going. I always want to do something new because I always have great, new ideas running through my head. My calendar is color-coded with personal and business events, that I always like to keep filled.
PPRG: Favorite food?
I love food with technique! My favorite has got to be BBQ. And I love a good burger. The absolute best is with super smoky bacon, sauteed mushrooms, beautifully caramelized onions with super sharp cheddar cheese, pepper and a crunchy salty crust on the bread. Cooked to a perfect medium-rare. My fries have to be hand cut, cooked in EVOO with maldon salt and smoked black pepper with grated parmesan and rosemary.
PPRG: Okay, now we’re drooling… hope that’ll be on The Flying Fish Crafthouse’s menu (hint hint). What do you love about calling Philadelphia home?
I love the history of Philadelphia. We’re in the BIRTHPLACE of America! How awesome is that?! We also have the largest Philadelphia Park system. Philly’s culture is unparallel with any other city in America. I love its food, its people and its world-class chefs.
PPRG: Do you have passions outside of the culinary world?
I’m a spiritual dude, so I love to meditate. I also love my two daughters, music, being outside, and of course, my Harley Davidson.
PPRG: Finally, what advice do you have for other chefs looking to make it big?
I’ve worked really hard and have been lucky to have a lot of opportunities. My advice to others would be to ask questions every step of the way. Understand the business of being a chef and don’t plan on making it big.
Just when you think what doesn’t this guy do? He also has his own line of signature spices called “Duffified Spice,” as well as a line of T-shirts, kitchen aprons, hats and hand soaps, all available on www.duffified.com.