Between prepping and cooking, David Gurewitz is in the kitchen nearly seven days a week. But you won't hear him complaining about his ample opportunities to experiment with different types of food and cooking styles.
Gurewitz previously worked as a chef in Hong Kong and Paris, and then most recently as the sous chef at Spinasse. Now he cooks at Little Uncle Tuesday through Friday, dividing his time between the Pioneer Square location and the Madison Street walk-up. Every Sunday morning he runs his own popup called Big Trouble in Little Uncle, where he serves up Hong Kong-inspired dishes like asparagus fried rice and egg noodles with shredded chicken. In the far-off future, Gurewitz is interested in creating a frozen food line and other culinary options for the retail industry.
Though he has fond memories of his colleagues at Spinasse and the fine-dining environment, Gurewitz is using this time to reflect on his cooking style and goals. "I've always been fond of experimenting, playing, and researching," he said. "My popup gives me the chance to experiment with myself and see where that goes."
Here, a few of David Gurewitz's favorite things:
Biggest restaurant pet peeve: People "phoning it in" on a late table on a slow night. If you are open, everyone should be privy to the same level of execution, or else turn them away and say you are closed. It’s disingenuous to do otherwise.
Favorite item on the Big Trouble at Little Uncle menu: I could eat the salt and pepper tofu from week 6 every day for the rest of my life.
Future Sunday pop-up brunch menu items: I'll be attempting to marry quality with convenience in a cup of handmade instant noodles.
Banned from Little Uncle: Chicken pad Thai (official), Coldplay (unofficial).
Cooking in a tiny kitchen is… Sort of a trip, when you realize you've been facing north for ten hours straight.
First dish ever made: I started frying eggs for myself when I was, like, six. Then I "honed my skills" making matzo pizza in the toaster oven. When I was 10 or 11, I made a gallon of skordalia for my sister's sushi party. Everyone was very polite about it.
Most memorable kitchen disaster: A private event in which a menu of cocktail snacks had been prepared for a total invite group of 700 people (in a 300 seat venue), and at the last minute someone decided to allow the guests to look at, and order from the regular menu—without informing the kitchen!
Best advice received: Chef Paul Kahan, who I worked with in Chicago, once told me, "Don't flip the hash." Or as Chef Kevin Cullen once told me when I was a teenager, "Take the extra 15 seconds to do it right."
Guilty pleasure: Food-based challenges and competitive gluttony. Disturbing, shameful, hilarious.
Most underrated breakfast or lunch spot in Seattle: Arabica Lounge deserves a lot more love.
Favorite Cookbook: Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz.
Transitioning from Italian cooking to Thai cooking is… Like flipping the record at a dance party—different song but you just have to find the groove!
Craziest work story that can be committed to print: Running off with the duck headpiece from the costume of one of the foie gras protesters in front of Lark. Those dudes were mad about that! I wasn't trying to be adversarial; I thought it would be funny—in a Benny Hill chase sort of way.