Chef Drew Keane
Chef Drew Keane, 2017 Chef Recipe Contest WinnerChef Drew Keane’s earliest memories of cooking are from working alongside his father in the kitchen.

Alhough the family couldn’t afford elaborate meals, he remembers, “Dinner was always a time that all of us could be together, and we would make our own version of ‘gourmet’.”

“This is what first sparked my interest in making something from nothing and finding ways to be creative with lesser ingredients,” he explains. Memories of those mealtime experiences are what has driven him to pursue a career in the culinary world.

In addition to being inspired by his father, Keane was influenced by the zeal of professional chefs he has worked with, including those at a James Beard Awards dinner in Chicago. He aspired to surpass their passion and to push culinary limits.

Keane’s philosophy of pursuing new concepts is reflected in his use of duck products. “Duck legs are my favorite,” he says. “I feel they are often underutilized. Chefs prepare them as confit instead of challenging themselves to find other ways to use them.” Keane’s recipe contest entry, Duck Sugo with Egg Yolk Pappardelle, illustrates a unique preparation for this protein.

“The ability to create something that has never been done is a driving force that influences me every day,” he says.

More winner bios>