Chef Mindy Biddle
Head Chef Mindy Biddle of Locke Store
Chef Mindy is also known as Kitchen Queen
“Listen, learn, teach, create, evolve!”
The Locke Store walls take on the hue of a chapel here in this old town of Millwood. Many angels slip through these walls; some stay longer than others. The kitchen is forever a teaching kitchen, a test kitchen. The power of all for one and one for all permeates our hearts. I find feelings and love in creating our dishes.
Your favorite ingredient: Lemon, lime, ginger, and garlic (for brightening and finishing a dish)
Favorite dish to cook at home is: Roasted potatoes, grilled chicken, and fresh salad
My most essential item in the kitchen is: A super sharp knife (a gift from Juliet)
Most guilty pleasure snack (or dish) is: A juicy hamburger
My new favorite tool or gadget is: Our new immersion blender…it is huge and we call it “the zizzer!”
Interview with Head Chef at Locke Store
What do you love most about food?
It’s all about intuition: you smell, you taste, you share, you tweak. It’s art, it’s creative – it’s always an exciting morning to begin a new soup and put the finishing touches on the soup from the day before: spices early, with fresh herbs and zest to brighten and finish the job.
Where were you born? As a child, did anyone influence you about food?
New Jersey. And my mother influenced me because she truly loved fresh ingredients and high quality. She threw elaborate dinners and had lovely picnics.
What is your training, do you have formal training or have you learned everything on your own?
I’m self-taught. I asked a lot of questions, I watched other chefs find love over top of a pot of soup. The knowledge was transferred and I wake every day and learn something new.
What have been some of your challenges you’ve faced as head chef at Locke Store?
Sourcing from the local community is constantly changing – you are always adjusting depending on what is available.
How have you developed your menu in the sense that you’d like it to be set apart from other restaurants/food stores in the area?
Everything is from scratch. Our food begins in gardens and fields and ends up in our deli.
What were some of your earliest memories in the kitchen?
My older brother would come over and make beautiful salads out of the Moosewood cookbook. I also loved baking cookies with my mom.
What or who inspired you to become a chef?
My stepmother Neil was the most amazingly intuitive home chef! She would put together these delicious meals out of anything at all. She was fearless in the kitchen and it was quite an extension of her artistry. Neil made everything taste so good!
What food styles have you brought into the kitchen based your experiences?
I focus on rustic, from-scratch food that is forever influenced by my collection of recipes from around the globe.
What is your favorite flavor or spice to work with?
Thyme is an amazing backdrop, and a foundation to so many of our dishes. It brings a brightness when added fresh at the end.
Locke Store is situated in a very small village. How do you decide what you are going to offer to your clientele some who are local and a lot who are transit? What has been most challenging meeting the demands of the two groups?
The beautiful thing about food is that it transcends all barriers and speaks a language common to every one of every background.
Stop by and taste Chef Mindy’s amazing food. One of the most popular quick stops for a sandwich, dinner to take home, or that bottle of wine you forgot to get when you were in the city.