What’s Cookin’ in Brooklyn
Have you ever read those restaurant reviews in the newspaper that apply adjectives to food that you never thought possible? I know that “soul,” “purity,” and “synergy” are not typically the first words that come to mind when I describe my potato salad. But my potato salad is usually nothing like that of world-class and New York Culinary Institute of America-trained chef Robert Krause of Krause Dining in Lawrence, Kansas. A typical meal in Krause’s restaurant is pricey and for very special occasions only, but those lucky enough to be on the Brooklyn campaign got to eat Robert’s cooking every day, for free. Krause, his wife Molly, their two daughters, and sous-chef Simon, donated their time to be the full-time chefs, temporarily closing their restaurant and earning no income.
The Krauses even gave up spending vacation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to volunteer in Brooklyn for the month of July. Krause hadn’t originally planned on coming to the campaign. However, after sharing a breakfast with David Brickner and attending church with him in San Francisco, he became convinced. The pastor spoke on taking risks for God and Krause knew that his participation was the Lord’s will; something he doesn’t say lightly.
When I visited the Brooklyn campaign for a day, I was lucky enough to catch dinner with the team, and everyone raved. “The food is awesome,” one campaigner enthusiastically noted. The roasted chicken with fire-roasted tomato broth, new potato salad, and a Mediterranean salad with feta were prepared to perfection. Krause admitted that these were all simple, home-style dishes and he hadn’t had the chance to really start cooking what he had planned. The night before, they prepared an oxtail stew and a fennel and orange salad. This is not home-style cooking a la Bob Evans.
The night I visited, Krause was originally told to prepare a meal for 30 people, but he had to adjust his plans in order to accommodate 50 people. While this is no loaves-and-fishes event, it still shows how flexible and willing he is to serve more than just good food.