Q & A With the Chef: Jon Mcloud

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Chef Jon Mcloud: Archive Coffee & Bar

SM: Would you consider yourself a renegade in the kitchen? Or a boss? Jon: Definitely more of a renegade. Even my team, I don't even think they'd consider me a boss. I'm always working right next to them. I don’t try to act like a boss to them. I'm not the typical chef; where I'm yelling all the time and throwing plates at people.

SM: So not like Gordon Ramsey? Jon: Haha. No.

SM: Do you think you should be more like Gordon Ramsey? Jon: Sometimes I think I should act like that, because maybe that's just how you're supposed to be I guess. That's how some of the best chefs are.

SM: It's a popular trait these days. Jon: It is. It is.

SM: So what do skateboarding and cooking have in common? Jon: You're definitely going to get hurt doing both of them. Injuries. That's probably the number one thing.

SM: What's the craziest injury you've had in the kitchen? Jon: I've had a few, but I think the one that sticks out the most is... I've almost diced the tip of my thumb off. I was cutting bell peppers; this was years ago, I was still pretty new. Luckily it was a dull knife so it didn't chop the entire tip off. But since it was dull, it hurt a million times more!

SM: Daaaaaang... Jon: It was hanging by the skin. I honestly should have gone to the hospital and got it stitched up, but I wrapped it with paper towels and tape and took a bunch of Tylenol. Then I put some latex gloves on and went back to work. It's totally fine now.

SM: Looks 100%! Jon: Yeah. I can't feel anything there, but..

SM: It looks good. Jon: It's definitely not 110%. I'd say about 99%.

SM: What about your worst skateboarding injury? Jon: Fortunately, I've only broken a finger. But my worst injury was when I tried to kick flip the seven stair at the Department of Skateboarding. My foot slipped out and my knee went straight into the ground.

SM: Ooo... Jon: Straight into the cement. It definitely put me out for a few days.

SM: So which are you more gifted at? Jon: I'd say cooking. I just cruise around on my shortboard now.

SM: Do you feel "the love" in the kitchen? Jon: Definitely when you're rubbing up against the dude right next to you. You can feel the love.

SM: Isn't that a song? Jon: Probably. There's got to be a some song about that somewhere... But honestly, yeah. It's totally there. My team and I, everybody, we all... It's a love hate relationship. When we're working with each other, and when it's a stressful night, we hate each other. But right at the end of the night when everything is done, we'll hang out, drink some beer, and talk about how crazy the night was. It brings everybody back together.

SM: Do you feel every dish is special? Jon: Yes! It's the greatest feeling to have some one come back to me and say "That's the best dish I've had," of a certain particular dish, or "the most beautiful," or how much they loved it. Because you put so much work, and so much time into it. And for some one to take their time out of their day, to come up to you, to just tell you that; It's the best compliment you can get! Cause you now know that they're always going to remember that moment. And you were there to make that happen for them.

SM: You feel a connection to your guests? Jon: Yeah!

SM: When does the new menu come out? Jon: June 26th.

SM: What orientation and style is it? Jon: It's been described as "global fusion" we've taken a lot of influence from southern and eastern Asian cuisine.

SM: Do you have a favorite dish? Jon: Being my own toughest critic, every once in a while I make something that really impresses myself. The salmon dumplings happened to become one of those dishes.

SM: What's unique about this menu? Jon: Mushroom Pho. We wanted to have a noodle dish in this menu. It's inspired by the Pho our coffee roaster's, Nam, parents make. We sought out a way to challenge ourselves to create one that could be equally good, vegan, and gluten free.

SM: That's awesome. Sounds so delicious.

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We thank Jon and Archive Coffee & Bar, located Downtown Salem at: 102 Liberty St NE Suite 120, Salem, OR 97301. Visit Archive Coffee & Bar online. Please click here.