Kitchen Inquisition: Cory Smith

Let this Texas-born chef comfort you with some non-farm-raised salmon

When Pacific Time's Jonathan Eismann tells you your gift is that you can make anything taste good, we'd say that's your cue to become a chef. And so that's what Cory Smith did. The Fort Worth, Texas native came to Miami for a vacation and, on the 8th day, met Eismann, who promptly offered him a job. Several restaurants and one cooking hiatus later, Smith is now manning the kitchen at new Wynwood spot Morgan's, where Modern American comfort food is the name of the game. Or as Smith likes to put it: "Making simple food fabulous."

We're sure all the dishes on the menu are like your children, but, you can tell us - who's your favorite?
The specials. They're the most fun. But on the menu, I'd say the salmon. It's not farm raised - we like to use all organic ingredients.

Morgan's is in up-and-coming Wynwood, a far cry from South Beach, where several of the restaurants in which you worked were located. Do you notice a difference?
We're not driven by tourist business here, it's a local scene. That said, this has been the busiest 11-week opening I've ever had.

Most popular dish on the menu?
The pescatore, it's a seafood medley in a tomato and garlic broth.

The five ingredients every kitchen should have?
Garlic, shallots, olive oil, carrots and celery.

The five untensils every kitchen should have?
Ricer, mixer, convection oven, broiler and a flat top.

Fondest food memory?

My mom's snapper - it was a poblano pepper with black bean and corn salsa with red snapper and a tomato fondue. It's proof that cheese and fish do actually go together.

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