When Pete Fjosne was sous chef at Bastille, he started a little housemade sausage program. That little sausage program led to a really big new role when owners James Weimann and Deming Maclise opened Von Trapp's, a 420-seat beer hall with an expansive program of housemade sausages. Now Fjosne oversees a kitchen that produces enough kielbasas, bockwurst, and nuremburgs to fuel the ever-present crowds. Some nights about 2,000 people come through the door, he says. In the first six months, he calculated that Von Trapp's ran through 22,000 pounds of meat for its Oktoberfest sampler platter alone.
And when you run a giant German-inspired beer hall with an expansive house sausage program, you are pretty much duty-bound to put on an Oktoberfest shindig. Here's the schedule for the haps at Von Trapp's (oh god, did I really just say "the haps at Von Trapp's"?)
And here, a few of Pete Fjosne's favorite things:
Dish to make at home: BLT! Whole wheat bread, ripe tomatoes, crisp butter lettuce, thick-cut pepper bacon, and lots of mayo Yum! I eat most of my meals at the restaurant, so when I do cook at home I like to keep it simple.
Sausage/brat/cased meat on the Von Trapp's menu: Landjager: A slim, dried and smoked beef and pork sausage seasoned with black pepper, coriander, caraway, and garlic. Its a great snack on the go.
Kitchen pet peeve: Labels not being removed from containers before they go to the dishwasher, and bad handwriting.
Secret ingredient: Milk powder. I use it in all my sausages as an emulsifier, and to help retain moisture, so you don't get a greasy sausage.
The Buffalo Chopper is…Basically a giant food processor turned on its side. The unit we have at the restaurant weighs about 700 pounds and can process 50 pounds of sausage at one time. It has a large rotating bowl with six blades spinning vertically. It is what makes it possible for us to do emulsified sausages in large batches i.e. the frankfurter, bratwurst, bockwurst, and spicy bratwurst. It's pretty impressive to see it in action.
Banned from your kitchen: Grumpy cooks, and loud music.
Three things on your kitchen countertop right now: Butter, sea salt, black pepper.
Place to eat or drink on your day off: I really like Canon. Amazing booze selection and great staff. I am also a huge fan of the bone marrow.
On the wish list: Go to dinner at Ferran Adria's new Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant Pakta in Barcelona, Spain
Craziest work story that can be committed to print: About eight years ago I was working at a restaurant in Oregon and we had a new line cook working the pasta station. He had been with the company for about a week and I think it was the first busy weekend night that he had worked. About an hour into a busy dinner service as I was calling tickets, he just fell on the floor. We all assumed that he had just fainted and called 911. However, we were in the middle of service and had to move him off the line, which was no small task since he weighed over 300 pounds. We lifted him up onto two glass rack dollies and wheeled him off to the side. Shortly after, the ambulance arrived and took him to the hospital. I jumped in and took over his station and we got through the rest of the night without a hitch. At the end of the evening the chef called the hospital to check in on him. It turns out he didn't faint--he had died of congestive heart failure on the line.