As part of Cochon Heritage Barbecue week, I reached out to the competing chefs to run a few questions by them, so that we could all get to know the players that will be cooking this weekend.
This time, I caught up with Harrison Keevil, who comes to Memphis from Charlottesville and his Brookeville Restaurant. So, hopefully, all of you UVA grads will know the scoop already. Really, could you imagine a more idyllic setting to live and work than Charlottesville? Totally awesome place with nice scenery and some sweet, sweet lax.
Anyway, on to the interview with Harrison!
Cochon Chef Interviews
Thomas (Eat Local Memphis) – Introduce yourself and let us know a little about you. Thanks!
Harrison Keevil – My name is Harrison Keevil and I am the Chef/Co-Owner of Brookville Restaurant. I run the Kitchen and my Wife runs the FOH as well as being the other co-owner. We have been open a little over 2 years and our ingredient based cuisine and focus on using products sourced from within 100 miles of Charlottesville ( we are about 85-90% locally sourced). I am a graduate of the University of Virginia and the French Culinary Institute. I have worked in NYC, SF, and London until I came home to Virginia where I worked at the Clifton Inn until opening Brookville.
What lured you into competing in Cochon Heritage BBQ?
I believe in the message of Cochon. The utilization of whole Heritage Breed Pigs is something we take very seriously at Brookville and to be a part of an event that is centered on that principal is thus very important to us. I am competing in Cochon Heritage BBQ to help raise awareness that using whole heritage breed pigs is doable. That in turn helps the farmers from whom we get these majestic animals. Without the farmer we would have nothing.
In addition to a competition, Cochon is really about highlighting heritage breed pork. What’s your take on heritage breeds and why they’re important?
They are most important because they taste like pork is supposed to. Each breed brings something different to the table but the most important and unifying quality of all the breeds is flavor. Most people in the US don’t know what pork really tastes like. So it is our responsibility to educate in order to create a larger demand for flavor.
What breed of pig will you be using in the competition? Why’d you pick that one?
I will be using a 100% Certified Berkshire. I mainly chose this breed to pay homage to my British heritage. Growing up spending my summers in England this is the breed that was most readily available in my Grandparents little village. By using the Berkshire I feel that I am paying respect to my family which will translate to the respect that I show to the pig by utilizing all of it. The reality is that this pig has given its life for us and to not use all of it would be disrespectful to the pig and the farmer that loved and cared for it.
What most excites you about your visit to Memphis?
I’m excited to work and learn from other chefs. In my kitchen at Brookville I am the only cook, and this event is an opportunity for me to learn from and be inspired by my fellow competitors and the flavors, sites, sounds and smells of Memphis.
For the Memphis readers, if they were to travel to your town, what three places would you recommend they go to eat?
First I would hope that they come visit me and my wife at Brookville, but after that I would send them to C&O where Dean Maupin is the Chef. I would then send them to The Clifton Inn to try Tucker Yoders fare. Finally, for something a little different I would sent them to see Tomas Rahal at MAS.
Lastly, rapid fire:
Ribs, dry or wet: dry
Barbecue ribs or sandwich: Ribs
Bourbon – what’s your favorite: There are too many great ones to have a favorite.
Neat or on the rocks: Depends on the Bourbon
I’m really excited to have Harrison coming to Memphis for this competition. He has such respect for tradition, history, and the life of the animals that he uses. That respect is bound to make it into the dishes his team prepares. I hope that anyone that is reading from Charlottesville or around there will make a trip over to Brookeville and report back to us!
I can’t wait for the weekend. See you there!
You want to go to there:
You want to go to there:
225 W Main St.
Charlottesville Va, 22903