All it takes is one look at Patrick Chung's Instagram page to see that the 30-year-old safety from Kingston, Jamaica, loves to throw down in the kitchen. On May 11, to raise money for charity, Chung took over as general manager of Ocean Prime in Boston, mixing cocktails and serving up dinner to hungry fans. Below, Chung gives a behind-the-scenes look at his night, where he swapped football clothes for a classic white chef's coat and went to work.
Photos by Victoria Mae Photography.
"Ocean Prime has been my spot in Boston for a while and I have become good friends with the general manager, Nick Foley. Nick and I were trying to figure out different ways to put something formal together at the restaurant and thought it would be fun if I took over his position as GM for the night to raise money for Asperger / Autism Network (AANE)."
“First of all, I was late on my ‘first day’ because of Boston traffic and I felt awful about that. When I got to the restaurant, Nick and I went into the kitchen to meet the chefs. I love to cook and learn different ways to prepare food. They made me my own chef’s coat, which was great.”
“The first dish I helped with in the kitchen was learning how to prepare the crab cakes. I learned how to plate them properly and got some good insight into their new recipe. Then I went to the steaks—there were two on the special menu, a 10oz filet mignon and a 14oz New York strip with a blue cheese crust.”
“Learning how to shuck an oyster was pretty cool. You have to be careful not to cut yourself with the shucking knife so it was really important to learn the proper way to do this.”
“After I learned the menu, I jumped behind the bar and learned a few tricks from the bartenders. It was great to meet all the fans that came out specifically for this evening. Nick was with me the entire time coaching me through every step.”
“Cooking relaxes me. It’s a stress reliever. When I’m on the grill or in the kitchen, I am calm. I love cooking for my friends and family, bringing everyone together over food is one of my favorite things to do.”