Christopher Concannon is a true native Austinite who has been making magic in the kitchen of one of the oldest and well-established French restaurants in Austin, Chez Nous, since 1999.
Over the years of being immersed in French cuisine, language, and culture, Christopher has become an expert on all things French.
We had the chance to sit down with him and learn about his French-food background, tips and tricks on French cooking, and his take on our newest product, the chef knife.
Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into French cuisine?
When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
What's life like now? Run us through a day in your kitchen.
With years of French cooking under your belt, what's your go-to French dish?
What's your go-to tool? A tool all home chefs should have?
What do you like about Made In’s Chef Knife?
We know that you have an extensive knife collection. How did your passion for French knives spark?
Do you have any knife techniques or etiquette tips?
- Use a sharp knife to achieve better cuts. Sharp knives will slice through your product easier giving you cleaner lines without damaging the product. They are also safer since you don’t have to use as much force.
- Keep your work area clean and organized and make sure to have a waste bin nearby to dispose of trim easily.
- Use the correct grip on the product, forming your non-cutting hand into a claw with your fingers tucked in.
- Whenever possible, score your vegetables before cutting all the way through. For example, with an onion, after you have cut it in half and peeled it, make a number of parallel vertical cuts that go toward the root end but stop short of going all the way through the root. Then you can turn the onion 90° and make your cuts that will produce a dice. The root holds the onion together, making the process easier.
- Let the blade do the work by slicing rather than trying to push the knife down through your product with force.
What’s your best piece of advice for a novice chef or baker?
- Always consider the context in which the food will be eaten.
- Remember carryover cooking (food retains heat and continues to cook even after being removed from the source of heat).
- Seasoning will be different depending on if something is going to be eaten hot or chilled. Sauces act differently depending on their temperature so factor that in.
- Sometimes less is more.
For more fun at Chez Nous, check out Christopher's fricassée d'escargots recipe!