A little insight from a Brooklyn Executive Chef

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Duet Restaurant’s Executive Chef, Dmitry Rodov. Chef Rodov began training at the esteemed French Culinary Institute, then completed his training by interning in France, an experience which greatly influenced not only his culinary mindset but also his most recent pursuits. 

Our objective with this interview was to keep it conversational, authentic and insightful, in an attempt to offer you a perspective from the service side, from someone who has crafted his career around his passion.

Tastee
Chef, I’m going to ask you a few questions just to kind of connect the culinary artist to the consumer. Feel free to add anything that you believe might be pertinent. But f
irst, can you tell me a little bit about Duet Bakery and Restaurant and its special place in the market as well as the clientele you cater to?

Chef:
The unique thing about that, is that we cater to all clientele. We strive to offer a high-end dining experience with a cozy welcome. We keep our prices at a fair point for most clientele, and we try to accommodate our menu for people who are willing to experience all kinds of cuisines and cultures.

Tastee:
What would you say is your favorite cuisine to prepare?

Chef:
Primarily we take a lot of influence from European cuisines and from our own lens, and Russia, Ukraine, we use a lot of inspiration from that. From our experiences of trying different cuisines, Spanish cuisine or different kinds of Asian cuisines, we try to create a fusion of everything and marry it together. In short, we are always trying to come up with something unique and varied, as opposed to sticking with one particular influence, but you can find a lot of European notes throughout our menu.

Tastee:
Would you say you have a signature dish?

Chef:
Well, so we have a few. Primarily, we are known for our Lordon salad, which consists of a kind of house secret sauce that we are currently working on getting distributed in the market. We’re also known for our daily specials, our Ponchiki or Dolce de Leche fried donut balls, etc. All of our dishes are phenomenal. It can’t just be one signature thing. I feel like everybody who comes in has their own favorite, so it’s difficult.

Tastee:
How do you go about staying on top of industry trends?

Chef:
Yes, so we’re very active on social media. We try to keep up with our followers and interact with them in order to accommodate what’s going on around the kind of desired cuisine in the world. Aside from that, we do constantly look out for new ideas and new cuisines to take inspiration from; and we kind of always try to create something that nobody else has. So, whether it’s coming up with a new special or kind of reworking a precincts menu, we’re trying to give something unique with like a homey feel.

We try to tap into people’s roots, discover what they are comfortable with, and then kind of challenge that with some abstract element dish.

Tastee:
How would you say you build and maintain trust with new customers?

Chef:
As I mentioned before, we’re very interactive with our customers and our clientele; we do our absolute best to accommodate any need they may have. Whether it be from seating to styling menus, to even coming in and checking up on the party midway through. We want to ensure that our clientele is cared for through and through, and that’s how we kind of establish that trust and we maintain it by providing a consistently high standard of service in all aspects of the meaning.

Tastee:
Now this question kind of has three parts. How did COVID impact your business? How did you adapt? And as a result, what have you held on to that has become a staple in your business?

Chef:
So, COVID was an interesting time for us. We had actually adapted to a production line model that was accommodating over 25,000 meals a day for prepackaged meals across New York City. That was really interesting because, you know, it kind of detached us from our standard clientele. But it had taken us in an interesting direction as to where we would be kind of serving our community as well. As soon as COVID came on the scene, we understood that we would be taking a pretty big hit. So, we used the bar, additional stock and whatever food we had on hand to create little lunches or breakfasts for first responders. People have high-risk people who didn’t have access to free food at the time. Since then, we’ve of course kept up with COVID procedures, but we’ve always been keen on welcoming customers back and doing everything we can to make them feel comfortable. Whether it’s providing sufficient seating or utilizing masks or having temperature checks. That’s kind of how we accommodated for that, but ultimately, I think we worked very well through the COVID pandemic, or at least the height of it with the community.

Tastee:
Okay, here’s my last question. What advice would you offer to an up and coming cook in the industry that you wish you had received early on in your career?

Chef:
Primarily to carry on with patience and passion, to be able to stick through times that might not be as inspiring or as fruitful as one may imagine. But to keep striving, keep creating, and keep dreaming for something else. So, a never give up motif.

Duet Bakery and Restaurant is located in between Marina Park and Bergen Bay, Brooklyn – a quaint destination for refined food lovers. With an old-world atmosphere serving some of the most exquisite and flavorful dishes around, Duet offers an exceptional menu of memorable American dishes complete with a wide array of decadent desserts. Their creative culinary team applies its honed skills to prepare four-star food that can be enjoyed in an extremely unique setting.


Duet Bakery and Restaurant, 6181-6183 Strickland Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11234
PH: (718) 676-6219   WEB: duetbakery.com