Chef Hunter Blackford
Executive Chef of Brix 27
Chef Hunter brings fine dining flavors to the food scene of Martinsburg and brings a love of local food cuisine to the Panhandle of WV.
Guilty Pleasure Snack: Peanut butter and jelly, bbq Pringles and an ice cold can of coke, chocolate chip cookies with sea salt. Any kind of snack that brings you back to childhood moments is always essential to have.
Favorite meal and why: Something about pan fried venison and a potato element is always top tier in my book.
Most Essential Element / Equipment in the Kitchen: Having a great team honestly is the most essential element for any kitchen. I also appreciate a new package of squeeze bottles and a fresh folded stack of terry towels.
One Condiment/Herb/Spice you can’t live without: Dukes Mayo / Fresh Thyme and Chives / Smoked Paprika
Meet Chef Hunter Blackford
Born in Martinsburg, WV, lived here most of my life, after graduating high school I moved to OCMD/Delaware area, working and cooking at some great places. Moved back to the area and ended up in Winchester, VA for close to ten years working at a lot of great restaurants honing my skills. Worked for the Washington Redskins for a brief period of time. After years of commuting back and forth to larger cities and different places it was time for me to settle down in my home town and ironically at the same time Brix 27 was opening downtown, and with no real fine dining in the area I knew I had to be apart of what was going on and walked in one day for a job and 6 years later I’m still here doing what I love.
Finding a Love of Food
My mother, she was a great cook growing up always running around and helping her. She was a GM of a restaurant most of my life so I would be there a ton, helping bus tables or folding napkins or rolling silverware on holiday weekends. After I got a little older, I kind of stumbled into a kitchen and I would always work up the ladder, so after a while I started to realize my passion and love for food and feeding people in any sort of capacity whether its pancakes for my kids on a Sunday morning or feeding 200 people on a Friday night with my team.
I feel like any restaurant has its fair share of interesting stories, working in OC we had our fair share of VIP’s from Shaun White to the owner of the Ravens. Working for the Redskins sure was a trip, working with the players and coaches in a normal capacity was something I wasn’t sure how to handle for a while but eventually you start to get on a first name basis with these guys and then see them performing on TV was something that was a little surreal at the time.
Brix 27 – An Exciting New Journey
Brix is something that is very different for me, at most places you constantly worry about your vision on what you should be doing versus what the restaurant needs. Luckily here our ownership is awesome, and when we have visions we execute them. The gift that they give me complete freedom over the food and menu is something that most people strive for. It lets me work within my element, lets me try new and exciting things we haven’t gotten to try. It’s very refreshing to have such a good team of ownership and management, even down to the day to day workers. We try to make this a fun and exciting place to be and to work at and we hope it rubs off on our guest’s. Challenges are something that change almost daily, from social pressures, rising food prices, changes in demographics, changes to the economy, it ever stops. We just try to get in front of any problem as fast as possible, whether it is constantly changing in menus down to tiny details like the light bulbs we buy or silverware we use. Getting in front of any problem and being completely transparent to our guest’s and employees always seems to be the most important thing for us as a company.
How do you feel about the locally sourced movement?
Honestly in this day and age, local is so important, not just to us as a restaurant but as a community. People don’t understand the value and hard work some people put into their products. Staying true to who you are as a whole, and only sourcing ingredients that you know will knock someone’s perception of what is sourced from around your area is something that is highly important to us. Just like any restaurant we don’t source 100% local products, having a larger company that can understand your business and what you’re looking for is always very vital to what we do. But the products we use from larger purveyors and the products we get from local farmers always have to be the best products to provide for our guests.