by Joy Jangles
It’s not often you meet a chef like Tom Fleming – he’s edgy, funny, brutally honest, and knows good food starts from the heart. Originally from Chicago, he worked under Jean Joho at Everest and later won a James Beard Award for “Best New Restaurant” at Brasserie Jo for Joho.
The youngest of 7, Fleming found his love for food right from the beginning. His strong set of skills from a classical French training background began at a young age with his mother, who was a French trained cook and later spent time in France where he staged at Paul Bocuse and L’Auberge de I’ille.
This week Chef Fleming will be sharing his Goat Cheese Chorizo Frittata served with crispy hashbrowns and multigrain toast. Fleming is a strong believer in buying local whenever he can and using fresh good quality ingredients in all his dishes.
“I go for what’s in season, what wild hair I’ve got up in my ass, this space and time continuum between the sun and the moon. I can’t really say it’s one certain thing that can inspire me, it’s everything. It’s a lot of different things that I can pick and pull from. We are consistently creating a product that will deliver.”
Fleming stresses that in order to be a true artist of the craft it’s important to put in the time – working on your craft, studying with the masters, and truly learning and perfecting your skills.
“I’m a cook that’s what I do. If you don’t embrace history and don’t realize the role it has for the future – then our craft will start to be diminished. There has to be some respect for the traditions of this industry, of this craft and if you’re not going to respect it then don’t get into it and that is what I think is the biggest problem with young cooks today. If you can’t figure out the math of how to work and live and develop your craft then hey man, sorry but you’re going to get stuck.”
” I completely immersed myself into my craft to learn and was driven to expand my knowledge base as much as I could. And that lead to another job and that lead to a better job – because that’s what it takes to keep moving up: hard work and dedication.”
Crossroads Diner is based on great recipes, fresh ingredients, a comfortable environment and genuine hospitality. It’s where homestyle goodness meets traditional diner with made-from-scratch food from Fleming’s heart to yours. He even handmade most of the benches you’ll find at the restaurant, with carpentry being one of his favorite hobbies.
“This place originated out of the fact that I had a wife, two daughters and as a fine dining chef I was always working nights. I didn’t want to turn around one day and still be working nights and I turn around and my daughters are 15-16 years old and I don’t know who they are. I knew I wanted to be a Chef. I knew that I wanted to own a restaurant. And I knew that I wanted to be home at night. So it’s basically an amalgamation of different concepts I’ve seen and came up with Crossroads. I mean we’re still doing good food, it’s simple it’s honest its good ingredients and we close at 2 in the afternoon and I like that.”
And we like that too. Be sure to visit Chef Fleming at Crossroads Diner for Brunch on Sundays 7am to 2 pm. Be sure to try their world famous sticky buns and their fluffy buttermilk pancakes.
Ingredients for Goat Cheese and Chorizo Frittata
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup chorizo
- 8 eggs
- 1/2 cup goat cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup spicy tomato sauce
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Coat the bottom of a 12- to 14-inch cast-iron skillet with the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the onion and chorizo and cook over moderate heat until the onion is translucent and very aromatic, about 7 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the goat cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano and season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and stir to incorporate the onion. Cook until the eggs begin to set. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the frittata is set.
3. Turn the frittata out onto a serving platter and let cool. Drizzle the frittata with olive oil and serve at room temperature, with the tomato sauce on the side.
Joy Jangles loves a good brunch and brings you a new version each week for craveDFW. You may find more of her unique perspective and beautiful photos at Joylicious.