Top Chef: Good Eggs and Wise Cracks

Our love for eggs knows no bounds. The versatility of the egg is hailed with an old French adage— the hundred folds in a chef’s toque (that iconic tall, pleated hat) represent all the ways to cook an egg. While that esoteric piece of French culinary mythology is illuminative, these chefs, with all their creativity, share a few more. We asked some of the area’s best chefs to come out of their shell to demonstrate their favorite ways to prepare this simple, adaptable ingredient.

CJ Jang

balance-chef

Balance Pan-Asian Grille
215 N. Summit St., downtown Toledo. 419-243-2222. (Closed on Saturday and Sunday).
5860 W. Central Ave., 419-578-7777.
514 The Blvd., Maumee. 419-893-9999. (Closed on Sunday).
26520 N. Dixie Hwy., Perrysburg. 419-874-7777.
facebook.com/balancegrille
11am-9pm, daily, unless otherwise noted.

Favorite way to cook an egg: Fried eggs over-easy brunch, boiled with simple sea salt as a snack, and omelette style eggs on top of fried rice for dinner (omurice).
The first way I learned how to cook an egg: A korean version of Egg Custard Casserole called Gyeran-Jjim which translates to “Steamed Eggs”. It’s a staple dish in Korea and my mom taught me how to make it when I was 7-years-old. It’s light, delicate, fluffy and delicious with rice.
How many ways can you cook an egg? I never bothered to count how many ways…enough ways to keep myself to enjoy eating eggs.
My go-to way to cook an egg: Depends on my mood…If I’m feeling comfort food, I fry them. If I’m feeling light, I boil or poach. My go-to way to cook an egg is definitely the Korean Egg Custard Soufflé. It a nostalgic dish that brings me good memories and it’s so damn tasty.
How much room is needed for fungi to grow? As mushroom as possible.
Featured Dish: Traditional Vegetable Fried Rice
Wok-fired with sautéed scrambled eggs, broccoli, peas, carrots, red bell peppers, red onions and CJ’s signature sauce. Garnished with their Balance Farms rainbow micro greens and scallions.

balance-dish

 

Erika Rapp

registry-chef

Registry Bistro
144 N. Superior St., 419-725-0444. Registrybistro.com
4-10pm, Tuesday-Friday. 4-11pm, Saturday.

What was the first way you learned how to cook an egg? Fried egg sandwich with yellow mustard and American cheese (preferably on an onion roll). It’s still a favorite!
What’s your go-to way to cook, or use, an egg? I love soft boiled eggs and sous vide eggs on salads and with fish. It is the perfect meat, It includes its own sauce!
A lot of people cry when they cut an onion… The trick is not to form an emotional bond.
Featured dish: Grilled swordfish with saffron-tomato broth, olive tapenade crostini and grilled sunchokes and swiss chard with a 64° egg.

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Cindy Luce

oliver-house-chef

Rockwell’s Steakhouse & Lounge
The Oliver House: 27 Broadway St., 419-243-1302. mbaybrew.com/rockwells-steakhouse-lounge
4-10pm, Monday-Thursday. 4-11pm, Friday-Saturday.

Favorite way to cook an egg: Housemade quiche.
The first way I learned how to cook an egg: Scrambled.
How many ways can you cook an egg? Eight.
My go-to way to cook an egg: Over easy.
Why did the chicken cross the road? To get some of Molly Johnson’s quiche.

oliverhouse-dish

Nick Chamoun

bitemetwice-chef

Bite Me Twice
2007 N. Holland Sylvania Rd., 567-318-5552. Bitemetwicetoledo.com
11am-9pm, Monday-Thursday. 11am-10pm, Friday-Saturday.

Favorite way to cook an egg: Hard boiled eggs. There are so many uses for them!
The first way I learned how to cook an egg: Scrambled.
How many ways can you cook an egg? 15.
My go-to way to cook an egg: Hard boiled.
A hen walks into a bar… glad there’s no fowl play involved.
Featured dish: Bite Me Plate, made with a geese eggs sautéed onion, garlic, cauliflower, feta and our famous sauce.

bitemetwice-dish

Alexander Braden

whiskey-and-the-wolf-chef

Whiskey & The Wolf
3515 W. Alexis Rd., 419-690-4280. whiskeyandthewolf.com
3-10pm, Monday. 11am-10pm, Tuesday-Thursday. 11am-midnight, Friday-Saturday.

What’s your favorite way to cook, or use, an egg, and why? Sunny side up because it’s absolutely delicious.
What did the egg say to the boiling water? I don’t think I can get hard. I just got laid this morning.
Featured dish: Salt and pepper turkey sandwich with a sunny side up egg.

Anthony Hoye

plat8-chef

Plat8
4330 Central Ave., 419-214-0370. Plat8toledo.com
4-9:30pm, Monday-Thursday. 4-11pm, Friday-Saturday.

What’s your favorite way to cook, or use, an egg, and why? I love how versatile eggs are. My favorite way to use them are incorporating them in sauces. Hollandaise, aioli, bearnaise, and so on.
How fast does and egg run? It doesn’t run— it scrambles haha!
Featured dish: Arancini with an egg yolk in the middle with a roasted tomato sauce. This dish is a frequent special.

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Corporate Chef Brian Hein & Restaurant Chef Jordan Krieg

mancys-bluewater-chefs

Mancy’s Bluewater Grille
461 W. Dussel Dr., 419-724-2583. Mancys.com
11am-10pm, Monday-Thursday. 11am-11pm, Friday. 4-11pm, Saturday.

What’s your favorite way to cook, or use, an egg, and why? As a protein emulsifier.
What was the first way you learned how to cook an egg? Scrambled, of course.
How many ways can you cook an egg? 101 ways… a representation of the pleats found on a traditional Chef Toke
What’s your go-to way to cook, or use, an egg? 64*C egg placed on top of a Carbonara.
What day of the week do eggs dislike the most? Fry-day
Featured dish: Seafood fried rice.

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Jesse Hagen

mancys-ideal-chef

Mancy’s Ideal
5333 Monroe St., 419-841-0066. Mancys.com
4-10pm, Monday-Thursday. 4-11pm, Friday-Saturday.

What’s your favorite way to cook, or use, an egg, and why? Fry it. Everyone loves a fried egg!
What was the first way you learned how to cook an egg? Scrambled.
What day do chickens hate most? Fry-day.
Featured dish: Glorified double angus burger on a brioche bun (first egg) with American cheese our ideal “special “sauce (second egg) with hickory smoked bacon and lettuce and topped with a good old fried egg! (third egg)! That’s three eggs three ways— in the bun, in the sauce, and on the burger.

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Jose Carlos Mendez

cocina-de-carlos-chef

Carlos Restaurants

Cocina de Carlos: 27072 Carronade Dr., Perrysburg. 419-872-0200.
205 Farnsworth Rd., Waterville. 419-878-0261.
11am-9pm, Sunday-Thursday. 11am-10pm, Friday-Saturday. Cocinadecarlos.com
Carlos’ Poco Loco: 1809 Adams St., 419-214-1655. Carlospocoloco.com
11am-9pm, Monday-Wednesday. 11am-midnight, Thursday-Friday. Noon-midnight, Saturday.
Carlos Que Pasa: 3137 Central Ave., 419-214-9323. Carlosquepasa.com
11am-9pm, daily.

Favorite way to cook an egg: My favorite way to use eggs is in Chile Relleno (stuffed pepper), it gives the pepper a great crust on the outside
Qué pasa cuando metes un huevo al horno de microondas? ¡Pues que te pellizcas el otro! haha
Featured dish: Chile Relleno (Stuffed Pepper).

cocina-de-carlos-dish

 

Steve Smith

mancys-italian-chef

Mancy’s Italian Grill
5453 Monroe St., 419-882-9229. Mancys.com
11am-10pm, Monday-Thursday. 11am-11pm, Friday. 4-11pm, Saturday.

What’s your favorite way to cook, or use, an egg, and why?Parmesan fried egg.
What day do eggs hate the most? Fry-day.
Featured dish: Carbonara with a parmesan fried egg, spaghetti, pancetta, sweet peas, pecorino, black pepper, and evoo.

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Nico Castilleja

fat-fish-chef

Fat Fish Blue, home of the Funny Bone
6140 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg. 419-931-3474.
5-9pm, Wednesday & Sunday. 3pm-close, Thursday-Saturday.

What’s your favorite way to cook, or use, an egg, and why? My favorite way to cook is freestyle. I learned a lot from watching my grandma (Sitty) and Uncle Moose, the former owner of Burger Bar 419.
What was the first way you learned how to cook an egg? Scrambled.
How many ways can you cook an egg? Five ways.
What’s your go-to way to cook, or use, an egg? Breakfast eggs scrambled with chorizo.
Which came first? The chicken, the egg, or YOU after you try my DELICIOUS Granja Burger.
Featured dish: Boneyard burger made with bacon and a fried egg.

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John Kerstetter

adams-street-chef

The Adams Street Cafe
608 Adams St., 419-214-1819. theadamsstcafe.com
10am-7pm, Monday-Thursday. 10am-4pm & 6-9pm, Friday.

What was the first way you learned how to cook an egg?Basted, from my dad on Saturday mornings.
Why did the chicken cross the road? She forgot her eggs!!!
Featured dish: Our new crispy gochujang bbq pork belly with kale slaw, tomato, and a sunny up egg on ciabatta bread for $9.

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Chuck Kreutz

ginos-chef

The Original Gino’s Pizza
Various locations. Originalginos.com

Favorite way to cook an egg: I love trying all different ways to cook/play with eggs… have yet to find a favorite way.
The first way I learned how to cook an egg: Fried egg, but almost like a scrambled egg that we called it a “big egg” back in the day.
How many ways can you cook an egg? Still learning, so no exact number just yet….
My go-to way to cook an egg: Hard boiled. There’s so much to do with them!
What day does the egg hate the most? FRY-day.
Featured dish: Breakfast pizza.

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Jeff Dinnebeil

benchmark-chef

Benchmark Restaurant
6130 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg. 419-873-6590. Benchmark-restaurant.com
11am-10pm, Monday-Thursday. 11am-11pm, Friday-Saturday.
3-9pm, Sunday.

What’s your favorite way to cook, or use, an egg, and why?
Poached Egg with toast. I like cooking eggs like this because it reminds me of my dad and having breakfast at our cabin.
What was the first way you learned how to cook an egg? Scrambled in a microwave because there is never enough time in the morning to get kids off to school
What’s your go-to way to cook, or use, an egg? I like using eggs in sauce for proteins and on pasta because it adds a unique richness that can only come from a good egg yolk
What is a pirate’s favorite letter of the alphabet? Everyone always responds with RRRRR (in a pirate accent)……. Wrong, it’s the C.
Featured dish: CAB (certified Angus beef) Prime cowboy ribeye with black truffle Béarnaise sauce and a fried egg.

benchmark-dish

 

Elias Hajjar

poco-piatti-chef

Poco Piatti
329 N. Huron St., downtown Toledo. 6710 W. Central Ave., Sylvania.
11:30am-close, Monday-Friday. 4pm-close, Saturday. Closed on Sundays.
3155 Chappel Dr., Perrysburg.
11:30am-9pm, Monday. 11:30am-9:30pm, Tuesday-Thursday. 11:30am-10:30pm, Friday-Saturday. Noon-9pm, Sunday.
419-346-5528. pocopiatti.com

What’s your favorite way to cook, or use, an egg, and why? Chorizo, pepperoncini, red onion and feta omelette.
What was the first way you learned how to cook an egg? Watching my grandmother fry eggs in the bacon fat she just fried
Joke: Mary Poppins went to a restaurant and ordered cheese, eggs and cauliflower. When she left, she had written something in the complaint box: super cauliflower, eggs but cheese was quite atrocious. (Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious)
Featured food: Homemade Crème Brulee.

pocopiatti-dish

Michael Rosendaul

mancyssteak-chef

Mancy’s Steakhouse
953 Phillips Ave., 419-476-4154. Mancys.com
11am-2pm & 5-9:30pm. Monday-Thursday. 11am-2pm & 5-10pm, Friday. 4:30-10:30pm, Saturday.

Favorite way to cook an egg: A poached local farm egg. Poaching impacts the flavor of the egg the least. Delicate bundle of rich liquid gold hides inside.
Sorry, I don’t tell jokes. (…but if I did it would be funny)
Featured dish: Deviled eggs with caviar and black truffle.

mancys-steak-dish

Ben Gorsha

zias-chef

Zia’s
20 Main St., Toledo. 888-456-3463. Ziasrestaurant.com
5-9pm, Monday-Thursday. 5-10pm, Friday. 4-10pm, Saturday. 4-9pm, Sunday.

What’s your favorite way to cook, or use, an egg, and why?
Fried eggs on toast, because they are delicious!
What was the first way you learned how to cook an egg?
Scrambled.
How many ways can you cook an egg? Scrambled, poached, basted, baked, over easy, medium, hard, fried, hard boiled, omelets/frittatas, and sunny side up.
What’s your go-to way to cook, or use, an egg? Fried over medium.
Where do tough chickens come from? Hard-Boiled Eggs!
Featured dish: Italian Poached Eggs: poached eggs / tomato-basil sauce / Italian sausage / crushed red pepper / parmesan / parsley

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Tim Childers

chophouse-chef

The Chop House
300 N. Summit St. #140. 419-720-6000. Toledochophouse.com
4-10pm, Monday-Thursday, 4-11pm, Friday. 5-11pm, Saturday. 5-9pm, Sunday.

What’s your favorite way to cook an egg? Eggs over easy on toast. My mom taught me how to make it when I was a kid. I make them at home almost daily, it’s a comfort food to me.
How many eggs does it take to change a light bulb? None, an egg doesn’t have arms.
Featured dish: Sriracha Pickled Eggs with bacon and chives.

chophouse-dish

 

Javier Bravo

mihacienda-chef

Mi Hacienda Mexican Restaurant
3302 Glanzman Rd., 419-380-0411. facebook.com/MiHaciendaToledo
11am-10pm, Monday-Thursday. 11am-11pm, Friday-Saturday. 11am-9pm, Sunday.

What’s your favorite way to cook, or use, an egg, and why?
I usually cook fried or scrambled eggs. I can taste the yolk better with a fried egg, and I also feel at home when I cook one that way. So, fried is my favorite!
What was the first way you learned how to cook an egg?
Scrambled.
How many ways can you cook an egg? Scrambled, boiled, omelet, and fried.
What’s your go-to way to cook, or use, an egg? I´m Latino so we can eat eggs with basically everything. But I usually cook fried eggs, tastes homey.
What do you call a city of 20 million eggs? New Yolk City.
Featured dish: Huevos Rancheros.

mihacienda-dish

Eric Kish

rosie-chef

Rosie’s Italian Grille
606 N. McCord Rd., 419-866-5007. Rosiesitaliangrille.com
11:30am-9pm, Sunday-Thursday. 11:30am-10:30pm, Friday-Saturday.

What’s your favorite way to cook, or use, an egg, and why?
Poached because I like using the yolk as a sauce.
What happens when you tell an egg a joke? It cracks up.
Featured dish: Potato encrusted grouper topped with over easy eggs.

rosies-dish

Cody German

basil-chef

Basil Pizza and Wine Bar
3145 Hollister Ln., Perrysburg. 419-873-6218. Basilpizzaandwinebar.com
11am-10pm, Sunday-Thursday. 11am-11pm, Friday-Saturday.

What’s your favorite way to cook, or use, an egg, and why?
Sous Vide soft boiled egg, because you get a perfect runny consistent yolk.
Why is the chef so mean? He beats the eggs!
Featured dish: Bistecca Bowl: skirt steak / sage vinaigrette / cabbage / greens / farro / red onion / soft boiled egg / avocado / blue cheese.

basil-dish

 

Didi Kurniawan

nagoya-chef

Nagoya Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi
6190 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg. 419-931-8400. Nagoyaohio.com
4:30-9pm, Monday-Wednesday. 11:30am-2pm & 4:30-9:30pm, Thursday. 11:30am-2pm & 4:30-10pm, Friday-Saturday. 11:30am-2pm & 4:30-9:30pm, Sunday.

What’s your favorite way to cook, or use, an egg, and why?
Tuna Tartare. The yolk makes the fish extra rich and delicious.
Why shouldn’t you tease egg whites? They can’t take a yolk!
Featured dish: Tuna Tartare.

nagoya-dish

Saif Dari

zaza-chef

Zaza Wood-Fired Pizza & Mediterranean Cuisine
3550 Executive Pkwy., 419-531-2400. Zazawoodfiredpizza.com
11am-10pm, Monday-Thursday. 11am-11pm, Friday-Saturday. Noon-9pm, Sunday.

What’s your favorite way to cook, or use, an egg, and why?
I like to use in eggs in baking to help hold all the ingredients together.
What was the first way you learned how to cook an egg?
Scrambled eggs.
How many ways can you cook an egg? Many ways.
What’s your go-to way to cook, or use, an egg? Boiled eggs with fava beans.
How do monsters like their eggs? Terri-fried!
Featured dish: Pizza with egg.

zaza-dish