Top Chef Insights

Ever wondered whether a Master Chef's guilty pleasure is simply peanut butter or mac 'n cheese? Want to find out what the latest menu trends will be for the coming season? Always wondered who inspires some of the leading chefs in the industry? We've asked these questions and have the answers for you here.

View archived Top Chef Insights interviews.

February's Featured Chef: Chef Barret Beyer, Contestant on Hell's Kitchen Season 11

Chef Barret will be presenting a culinary demonstration at the upcoming International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York, on March 10, 2015.

Who was your mentor as you were becoming a chef?
Well, besides Gordon Ramsay, I would say my first Executive Chef - Chris Cariello of 1 North Steakhouse. He took me under his wing and gave me my first kitchen job and still to this day is there for me if I need anything or ever have any questions.

If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would that be?
It would have to be Thailand.

Is there one comfort food that you're secretly obsessed with having at home?
Short Ribs and Macaroni and Cheese... because I love cooking low and slow to develop tons of flavor. In my mac and cheese I use 8 different cheeses.

What’s your favorite meal to cook for friends?
Anything comfort food that I can elevate to the next level.

Which talent would you most like to have that you don't possess?
I wish I could juggle.... it would be fun to entertain people while cooking and somehow incorporate that with the food into a greater experience.

What’s the weirdest thing we would find in your refrigerator? 
Probably the weirdest thing to the average person that's in my refrigerator would be a quart container with bacon fat. I like using it to saute things in to add more flavor.

If you could cook for and dine with anyone, who would that be?
Denzel Washington... he is by far my favorite actor and eventually I will be able to cook for him and be able to have a conversation with him one day... he just doesn't know it yet!

More about Chef Barret Beyer: 

Chef Barret Beyer is a Long Island native whose passion and dedication has allowed him to excel and succeed in every aspect of his professional and personal development.  Born in 1976, he quickly displayed an affinity to creative culinary expression. His desire to help others and improve the lives of those who surrounded him led to the enlistment with the United States Coast Guard.  It was during this time of military service where he first realized his life dream when taking on the responsibility of kitchen management while serving his counterparts.

Upon completion of military service Chef Barret proceeded to further his education at Long Island’s Prestigious Culinary Academy where he graduated at the top of his class. Chef Barret successfully completed SERVSAFE certification and also passed the Nassau County Board Of Health Manager Certification course. Immediately after graduation Chef Barret was selected to participate in a unique opportunity with Bella Skye Catering to work on the set of Food Network’s Series “CHOPPED.” Although he did not compete on the show the experience of preparing dishes for the film staff and renowned Judges; Geoffrey Zakarian (Iron Chef), Marc Murphy and Chef Aaron Sanchez only increased his desire to become a leader in the culinary industry. Shortly thereafter, He was also chosen to take part in a cook off challenge against Food Networks Chef Robert Irvine live on stage at the Westbury Theater. Chef Barret was then fortunate enough to make it onto the biggest cooking competition in the US, Hell’s Kitchen Season 11 and just a year after the season ended he was at it again only this time on Food Network’s Kitchen Casino.      

Chef Barret has organized and raised money and cooked warm meals to feed the people of Long Beach after Super storm Sandy hit. He went out to Oklahoma and teamed up with Johnsonville Sausage Company to help cook and raise money and items for the victims of the F5 Tornado that ripped through Moore County, Oklahoma. Chef Barret is also a Spokesperson for “Bullyin’ We’re Kickin it” a Rocky Marciano Jr. organization, And also does a yearly fundraiser for Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Resource Center in Temecula California,  Now you can even tune in and listen to Chef Barret as he is the Host of his new internet radio show “Triple F with The Chef” on ITunes. Chef Barret was named Chef of the Month for November 2013 via Chef Works, one of the leading and largest culinary manufacturers in the industry in addition he was named Chef of The Month for Food & Beverage Magazine for the month of July 2014.       

Chef Barret will continue to pursue consistent growth, creativity, and culinary development through the positive interaction of culinary leaders. For now, rest assured his strong desire to share his culinary knowledge with others, and to provide personal chef services/classes for the inexperienced cooks/chefs will rapidly establish Chef Barret’s brand and associated added value.


January Chef Insights - Anton Testino, Mulberry Street Cafe
November Chef Insights - David Binkle, Los Angeles Unified School District
October Chef Insights - Alan Ogard, Lexington Hotel
September Chef Insights
- Barbie Marshall, The Farming Chef
August Chef Insights - Cal DeMercurio, Corporate Executive Chef, Black Bear Diner
July Chef Insights - Johannes Bernau, Executive Chef, Who Song & Larry's
June Chef Insights - Ryan Vargas, Chef de Cuisine at Emeril's Tchoup Chop