Chopping Block: Mike Davis

| December 13, 2013 | 0 Comments

West Shore Cafe and Inn’s Mike Davis. Photo Courtesy West Shore Cafe.

Q&A with Mike Davis, executive chef of the West Shore Café and Inn

Written by Susan D. Rock

As a boy growing up in New Orleans, Mike Davis wrote a letter to Julia Child telling her he wanted to be a cook. Since then, the peripatetic chef has plied his trade in Breckenridge (The Lodge and Spa), Napa (Auberge du Soleil), Seattle (Axis, Brooklyn Restaurant, Waterfront Restaurant, Salish Lodge and Spa), Walla Walla (his own restaurant, 26brix), Bellevue (Purple Wine Bar, Barrio, LOT No. 3) and Oakland (The Waterfront Hotel). Davis, who moved to Tahoe in 2011 to serve as executive chef for Martis Camp, has been with the West Shore Café since summer 2013.

What is your earliest culinary memory?

My earliest culinary memory was watching Julia Child’s The French Chef on television with my dad, who was always trying to make something different, like asparagus soufflé, when we were kids. Needless to say, my mom always had spaghetti on the back burner ready to go.

Where is home now? Married? Kids? Dog?

I live in Truckee, in Tahoe Donner, and am married to a wonderful woman named Krista, who I met when opening my restaurant in Walla Walla, Washington. We have a beautiful 7-year-old daughter named Luci. I joke that my wife has a dog, a Shiba Inu named Roki (Roh-kee) adopted from a rescue shelter, that lives under our bed until she comes home.

Favorite ingredient?

Simply put, salt.

Preferred kitchen implement?

A Cryovac machine (used for food packaging). Whether for cooking sous-vide, compressing or preserving, the Cryovac is an excellent piece of equipment.

How has the menu at West Shore Café changed since your arrival?

We’ve added a larger selection of fresh seafood items, like oysters on the half shell and fresh Dungeness crab. We also made the menu a touch smaller so we could focus on quality and presentation.

What’s in your home fridge right now?

Everything made by my wife. She is the chef in the family at home. If I had to list a couple items, I would say fresh chicken stock and cheese.

What do you like to do when not cooking?

Spend time with my family. With the hours I work, I get to see my family awake for only a handful of hours during the week. We also just acquired a small boat, so towing my daughter on the inner tube on Donner Lake has become a favorite activity.

Favorite ski run?

I’ve been told that I will be spending my winter riding either Hobbit Land or anything off Quail Face on a powder day across the street at Homewood.

What’s Julia Child’s best recipe?

That is an impossible question to answer. Her recipes are all unique and inspiring in their own way.


Category: Wine & Dine

About the Author (Author Profile)

Leave a Reply