Hot chef: Brian Mahon finds a balance for MilkBoy’s menu

 

Brian Mahon is running the kitchen at MilkBoy.  Credit: MilkBoy
Brian Mahon is running the kitchen at MilkBoy.
Credit: MilkBoy

Brian Mahon is no stranger to Philadelphia kitchens. He’s bounced around the city, working at the Constitution Center, Good Dog and, most recently, running the Perch Pub back of house. Now Mahon is at the Center City restaurant and music venue, MilkBoy, where he has created a new menu.

Just before MilkBoy you were the executive chef at Perch Pub. Why did you leave?
[Perch Pub] is just a different animal than MilkBoy. It was a good fit for a while, though. I helped revamp their menu over there, which was like groundwork for doing it over here.

Is there a ton of pressure when making a new menu for a restaurant?
That has lots of answers. The concept isn’t the hard part, it’s implementing it while rolling with the menu that’s already there. It’s a balancing act because you need to incorporate new ingredients and new products while operating a busy restaurant. But so far the feedback has been awesome.

When you were making the new menu for MilkBoy, was there anything that didn’t make the cut?
Well, yeah. I really wanted to have a classic poutine — fries, gravy and cheese curds. But I had to have the squeaky white cheddar cheese curds, and that’s where I ran into a problem. I couldn’t source them for the right price. It was an issue of accessibility to the product while still making it a valuable dish.

Well, you still have the famous bacon bowl.
Oh yeah, that’s a staple. That defines us. There was no way I was going to touch that. Are you kidding? Do you know how many Sunday mornings people just want a bloody mary and a bacon bowl?

How long have you been in Philly?
Since 2000. I grew up in Northeast Pennsylvania.

How have you seen the city change in the last 13 years?
I used to live in Fishtown when it was still very local and very strange, and there was a real interest in Center City food. Now the restaurant scene is snowballing, and it’s competitive in a good way. All the line cooks I worked with became successful because we had good teachers, and the industry took off.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

Movies

Review: 'Love is Strange' is not only a…

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina tie the knot in "Love is Strange," but the film winds up being more about living with people than an activist picture.

Movies

Frank Miller on writing 'Sin City'

Frank Miller's comics career is a long and storied one, with "Sin City" being one of his most individual creations. Here, in his own words,…

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

Wellbeing

What eye symptoms need emergency attention?

Many people experience temporary eye-related problems such as pink eye (conjunctivitis) from a cold virus or a scratched cornea resulting from an object coming into…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to longterm happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. A new…

Parenting

Fun family activity: Off-Broadway show for pre-teens

"The Love Note" is an off-Broadway musical your pre-teen won't roll his or her eyes at.

Parenting

Barnes & Noble partners with Samsung to release…

Barnes & Noble releases the first full android tablet optimized for reading.