J.J. Minetola is known as for his previous reign at local resturants Tsunami and Metropolitan. Minetola now holds the title 'Chef de Cuisine' at The Wild Orchid Café. Beginning as a dishwasher for his stepfather at 14, Minetola has climbed to the top as one of the most notable chefs in our community. When not in the kitchen he enjoys spending time at home with his wife and two-year-old child.
Patch: How long have you been in the business?
Minetola: 22 years.
Patch: Where else have you worked?
Minetola: Tsunami and Metropolitan in Annapolis. I worked at D.C. Coast and Equinox in D.C. and in a French bakery in Baltimore.
Patch: What are your specialties?
Minetola: Now at Wild Orchid we’re using a Vietnamese dish that usually comes with ham or pork, but we’re creating it with soft shell crab instead. Crab corn fritters are new and well-liked. I enjoy cooking seafood, mainly fish. We have a smoked paprika salmon dish now that’s really good. I have an American cooking style with some European influences.
Patch: What's your favorite kitchen tool?
Minetola: Vita-mix Blender. I just got my boss to get one, which I’m excited about.
Patch: Favorite new ingredient?
Minetola: Smoked Maldon Sea Salt-it’s typical crystal, flakey, crunchy salt, but even better smoked.
Patch: If you were stuck on a desert island what 5 foods would you want?
Minetola: Bacon, cilantro, lime, orange melon, fish.