Five, a modern American bistro in Berkeley featuring Executive Chef Banks White, provides an inviting culinary experience. His cuisine showcases the best of California with a southern twist. Family recipes are dotted throughout his menu. Grandma was his early inspiration.
Banks White got his culinary start in Texas but was quickly drawn to California. One of the first kitchens that taught him how to become a better chef, Alice Waters’ famed, Chez Panisse. That was enough to inspire him to work hard and move on up the culinary chain.
His fine dining chops were honed at Etoille at Domaine Chandon and Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford. He also worked alongside the great Roland Passot at San Francisco’s La Folie.
“Being a chef to me is about
making people happy through food.”
– Chef Banks White
The title Executive Chef came to this young chef when he was asked to helm the kitchen at Hotel Shattuck Plaza, Berkeley.
Open daily from early morning until late in the evening, the 60-seat bistro and bar is a great spot to gather with friends, host a business lunch or have a quick dinner or drinks before theater.
We met in the Five kitchen for our Foodie Chap chat.
Chef Banks White gets a “high-FIVE” for bringing his unbridled passion to every dish that exits his kitchen. He’s also a cool dude to hang with.
Enjoy the flavorful conversation and enjoy the knockout recipe.
5 Tasty Questions with Chef Banks White
1. Being a Chef to you is all about what?
Making people happy with food. One of the greatest joys I have is coming into the dining room and seeing people take that first bite of food and it’s like “Yes! This is what I came here for!”
2. It’s midnight and I go to your fridge, what will I always find?
Well, I live next to Acme Bread so I always have a nice loaf of French bread or a triple cream cow’s milk cheese, spread it on. We make a lot of plum jam here so that and plum jam sell me.
3. In your next life, you are not a Chef and come back as something else, what would you be?
It would be either a photographer or a teacher. I come from a long line of teachers and I like to teach new, upcoming cooks new skills and techniques, so a culinary teacher probably.
4. What is on the soundtrack to your culinary journey?
I grew up listening to Tower of Power so I guess it would be “You’re Still a Young Man.”
5. At your last supper, you can have a couple of guests, who would they be and what would you eat?
Definitely my mother would be with us and the Obama’s! We’d all just have a great really simple roasted chicken with the pan drippings; make a sauce out of that, some roasted potatoes, really simple.
Five Pork Chop & Succotash
Adobo chili butter
1 oz Garlic
.5 oz Chipotle
.5 oz Achiote Paste
4 each, Piquillo Pepper
4 oz Pork Stock
Lemon Juice to taste
1.5 oz Butter
Caramelize shallots in a sauté pan on high heat with oil, add garlic and continue to sweat the garlic until it’s cooked through. Add chipotle pepper, achiote paste, piquillo peppers and pork stock, on low heat let simmer for 5 minutes. In a blender add all of the contents and set to puree on high. Season with Salt and fresh lemon juice to taste. Add butter to blender until it is completely emulsified throughout the sauce.
Fresh Chickpeas (blanched) .5 oz
Blackeyed Peas (Cooked) .5oz
White Corn (Raw) .5 oz
Squash or Zucchini (diced & blanched) .5oz
Roasted Garlic Puree .5 oz
Lemon juice to taste
Heat a Saute pan up with olive oil, sauté raw corn first to caramelize and bring out the natural sugars, add black eyed peas, chickpeas and squash add roasted garlic puree, lemon juice and butter to the pan. Stir the mixture together until all of the ingredients are coated. Always add salt to taste.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)