— From the pages of Taysted Issue #04
Balancing one’s family life and a full-time work schedule can be difficult, especially with one child and a baby on the way. But when you enjoy your job as much as Mike Casey does (the sous chef at Federal Taphouse), everything else seems to fall into place. Mike has been working for Federal Taphouse since February of 2014, but has 14 years of experience in the restaurant business. When the workday is over, he and his family love cooking together and foraging ingredients for amazing meals in their own kitchen, too.
What locked Mike into the Federal Taphouse was the scratch kitchen cooking element of the job. “Working at Federal Taphouse has given me the ability to experience scratch kitchen cooking more than ever, making the level of creativity almost endless,” Mike says. “The head chef, Russell Skiles, and I have been friends since junior high. It was my goal to work with him; he has a brilliant mind.”
Did you know that their staple charcuterie board features meats which are aged in-house? Sometimes it takes Mike and Russell four to six months before they can sample the meats, which are aged in the walk-in refrigerator at 45 degrees. “Normally, meats are aged at 60 degrees for less time and you can taste them sooner, but we must follow the health regulations. Thankfully the flavor is no different, it just takes a little longer,” Mike explains, and sometimes it’s extremely hard to be patient.
Mike Casey sees value in all the little details. The finishing elements of a dish create a fulfilling experience for the consumer and Federal Taphouse takes great care in those special components. Whether it’s cured egg yolks, house-infused oils, or flavored vinegars, Mike believes that touches of unique ingredients are the best aspect of a well-rounded meal.