Talk about climbing the corporate ladder. Chef de cuisine Ariel Fishman-Larsh began working at Maria Hines's Golden Beetle less than a year and a half ago as a pantry cook, which, in her words, might have been considered a step down in light of her qualifications and years of experience. It didn’t matter though; all Ariel needed was that foot in the door. “The first four months I was a total worker bee,” she said. “I just did my job, and went home.”
But the promotions kept coming, and now Ariel spends her days as chef de cuisine, helping inspire the affordable eastern Mediterranean-inspired dishes that Golden Beetle is known for, such as lamb meatballs and braised goat pizza. But this woman's about more than just meat: “The three words I would use to describe my style is fresh, simple, and vegetables,” she says. "I have a lot of fun with vegetables.”
When she’s not dabbling with her secret ingredients of joy and urfa pepper, Ariel can be found at other haunts around the neighborhood such as Kangaroo and Kiwi and Lock and Keel. “Everyone needs a good dive bar,” she reasoned. Indeed we do, Ariel. Indeed we do.
Here are a few of Ariel Fishman-Larsh's favorite things:
Dish to make at home: Whatever vegetables are beautiful and just begging to be grilled.
Dish to impress: Anything vegan.
First dish ever made: Scratch mac and cheese.
Best part of service: The 15 minutes right before it gets crazy. There’s electricity in the air and you can feel it building. You’re ready even if you're not.
Item on your menu: The ta'amiya.
Dish you wish people ordered more: The savory chickpea and lemon stew.
Secret ingredient: Joy and some urfa pepper.
Banned from golden beetle: The term "shitshow." Never happened. Doesn't exist.
Guilty pleasure: Chicken in a biscuit.
Hangover remedy: Booze.
Adhering to Tilth certification is... A whole other level of organization and creativity.
Place to eat on a day off: Anything new and different or old and untried or here and there.
Place to drink on a day off: The big time brewery or anyplace with a patio.
Recently splurged on: I’m not really a splurger. I spend my money on booze, food and friends. Every day is a splurge.
On the wish list: New brakes and a headlight, and maybe a new knife.
Can’t live without: Kombucha.
Lesson learned from working with Maria: Accountability, own your mistakes as well as your triumphs, and tie-dye is always the right choice.
Work outfit: Shirt, shoes, apron.... the usual. The best part of this job is the uniform, I don’t have to think about it and we all look the same from dishwasher to chef.
Craziest Golden Beetle moment: Those are family secrets; just don't ask about the float trip.