Interview: Chef Brent Sims on jazz, cuisine, and the new menus at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

New, delicious offerings at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

News | Apr, 18th 2016

Spring is finally here, which means a brand new menu (and the addition of bar menus!) at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola! With over fourteen years of culinary experience and roots in Louisiana, chef Brent Sims is an expert in Southern American and Cajun cuisine. As the Executive Sous Chef of Venues at Great Performances, he oversees the production kitchen and operations at more than 10 cultural institutions. We sat down with him to learn more about his approach to cooking, how his cuisine relates to jazz, and the launch of bar offerings at Dizzy's. 

Jazz at Lincoln Center: What inspired this menu?

Brent Sims: Spring! The arrival of fresh growth of shoots, vegetables, and mushrooms after a period of frost deserves celebration.

JALC: Why did you decide to add a bar menu?

BS: We wanted to be able to highlight more shareable items and more traditional "bar" options for guests looking for just a snack, especially during late night sessions. 

JALC: What’s your favorite dish on the menu and why?

BS: I like the spring vegetable pot au feu. It's a simple presentation and the dish's success relies on the freshest vegetables. Seasonal morel and chanterelle mushrooms are poached in a vegetable consommé. It's a dramatic dish when served with a cornbread cracker smeared with black eyed pea purée.

JALC: Any must-order items on the current menu?

BS: If I had to choose two, the chicken-fried deviled eggs with pimento cheese and the Hudson Valley duck confit and Anson Mills grits. Both are very tasty and very shareable.

JALC: What are your favorite cities for food?

BS: New York and New Orleans. By far.

JALC: What food trend are you loving and why?

BS: I like the trend towards real and whole foods. I believe it was very chef-driven at first, but it's gaining traction everywhere. I think it can only be a good thing whenever people think more deeply about what they are eating and where it comes from. 

JALC: How would you compare creating a menu to creating an album?

BS: A menu should have a theme that unites all the dishes, much like an album. But the dishes have to stand alone as well, just like a song. 

JALC: A huge part of jazz is improvisation. Do you ever improvise in the kitchen?

BS: Daily! For instance, plants are living things, and a sugar snap pea's sugar content, mineral content, and size can vary greatly depending on many factors. Nature keeps us on our toes so we gotta dance alongside!

JALC: What’s your favorite style of jazz?

BS: After living in New Orleans for years, I'm always happy to hear the more traditional jazz pieces that are loved worldwide. However, I find I am partial to many pieces with a strong, expressive vocal element.

Drop in soon to Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola to pair the new spring and bar menus with jazz performed at the highest level.

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This month, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola favorite Camille Thurman will be hosting the Late Night Session every Thursday and Saturday night. We caught up with the talented saxophonist and vocalist and talked about time travel, nature and jazz.

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In addition to being an accomplished bandleader and educator, saxophonist Tia Fuller is also currently a member of Beyoncé's band. For one night only, she will bring the swing to Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola with her own quartet.


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