The Commodore’s Chef Hates the Name of His Restaurant


Stephen Tanner is a true Renaissance man. Not only is he the bassist for Harvey Milk, the noise-rock band originally from Athens, Georgia, he’s also the chef at the Commodore, the Southern-y Brooklyn restaurant (which also has Our Man Sietsema’s fave burger). The Daily Swarm features a long interview with him, and reveals many hilarious tidbits, including gems on why he hates the name “the Commodore” and why fried chicken blows.

On his first cooking job:

But my dad would always get Chinese food on Friday nights, and he came back and he’s like, “I got you a job at House of China. You’re not going to sit around.” So I ended up working in a Chinese restaurant and, I don’t know, I always liked working in kitchens.

On why “the Commodore” sucks as a name:

ST: No. If I owned this place, it wouldn’t be called the Commodore.

TDS: What’s your issue with the name?

ST: It’s just not funny.

TDS: It’s all about being funny?

ST: Yes.

On why the fried-chicken trend is bullshit:

Well, down there, like fried chicken and all that, that’s nothing new. I mean, New York is kind of ridiculous. Like I’ve done interviews with New York magazine and they’re like, “Why do you think there’s this explosion of Southern food?” and I’m like, “Because you guys write about it! It’s like you have to like write about food every week.” I mean, before this place was even open they wrote a thing about “Stephen Tanner’s Unnamed Fried Chicken Project”, and I was like, “Okay, I guess I have to make fried chicken.” I don’t even eat that shit.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 1, 2011


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