This is part of a chef interview series. View all interviews here.
In the next installment of “Behind the Kitchen,” I talked with Chef Rob Masone, visionary and executive chef of his own catering company called Kre8 Xperiences.
You also could say that breaking down boundaries is his full time job. Chef Rob has one of the most imaginative and innovative minds that I’ve ever come across. His small, tapas style offerings are always presented in the most outlandish ways and undoubtedly taste delicious. When I say outlandish, I mean this in the best possible way – I love how eclectic his style is.
Chef Rob and his team at Kre8 Xperiences catered the food for SMCLT last week. It was displayed in such a way that I could not take my eyes off of it. I think that’s what makes him stand out from the rest here in Charlotte. I cannot wait to see what he conjures up next. I hope I get to taste it!
What are your thoughts on social media playing such a huge role in the restaurant scene? Has it made a good or a bad impact?
In this day and age, I think that it’s a great way to captivate your audience! I mean, why not, they are already plugged in to some sort of device.
What is the first thing you do after a long day at the restaurant?
Have a nice, cold IPA.
For you, what is the most challenging part of running a restaurant?
Staying balanced. Sometimes the business can engulf you! It’s imperative that we realize that it’s only a job. Yes, a job we love. That is in our blood. But the most important things in life are waiting for us at home.
Where do you see the Charlotte food scene going in the near future?
Through the roof! There is a lot of undiscovered talent here.
Besides Charlotte [of course!], what’s your favorite city to eat your way through?
I love eating my way through Las Vegas, Denver, Atlanta and Omaha.
What is your prediction for the next “Big Ingredient” in the food world?
Hmmm. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.
Do you have any advice you would give an aspiring chef that you wish someone would have given you when you first began your culinary journey?
Be true to yourself and what your passions with food are. Don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done. Always remember, boundaries are meant to be pushed. Surround yourself with good people and you will never fail.
What is your biggest pet peeve in restaurants?
I’m not sure there is enough ink for that one. Ask my staff!
Is there an ingredient or dish that you feel in completely overrated?
Of course not. [laughs out loud]
How do you juggle the work versus life balance?
Refer to question #3.
What do you think about this “Celebrity Chef” phenomenon?
I have some personal friends that are celebrity chefs, so I will have to plead the fifth on that one. I will say that TV makes everything look easy. People think that they can go to school, get a degree and make $100K off the bat. Well, that’s just not the case.
If you had one final meal what would it be?
My final meal would be my Grandmother’s shrimp creole.
What is your favorite restaurant in Charlotte?
Soul Gastrolounge in Plaza Midwood.
Connect with Chef Rob