Animal and Son of a Gun chef Jon Shook sits down with HEEB magazine to discuss Jewish influences on his cooking and career. Shook reveals that Animal’s porky ways may have been a lot different if his Fairfax landlord hadn’t included a clause that forbid the restaurant from embracing kosher, intent on keeping his next-door bakery competition-free. Shooks says, “That planted the pork idea in our brains.” What else do we learn?
The chef also sounds off on his favorite Jewish dishes (blintzes, latkes, Chinese on Christmas) and attraction to offal, his mom’s bad cooking, and how his dad is willing to forgo a Kosher diet to support his sons’ chocolate covered bacon bar when coming to town.
The chef also admits he’s been feeling much more religious these days, as opposed to his previous attitude (which boils down to “fuck religion”). Shook says he’s looking deeper as he ages, and asks himself, “Like, I can make a mean fucking brisket, but now I’m wondering why do we make this?”