Josh Capon of Burger & Barrel on Kitchen Hardships and Being an Oceanographer (In Another Life): Interview Part 2


Yesterday we spoke with Josh Capon of Lure Fishbar and Burger & Barrel about the secret of a good burger (every bite should taste the same). Today he tells us about being on the small screen and reveals where he hangs out when he’s off the clock.

Where do you eat or drink on your nights off?

I eat at Chinatown Brasserie quite often, and sometimes at Stanton Social late night, or I go to Brooklyn Bowl with my staff. I don’t drink that much since I have a wife and two kids, and I don’t go out that often.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?

An oceanographer. When I was young, my three favorite things were food, dolphins, and nature. So I’d be an oceanographer or forest ranger.

Any new projects on the horizon?

No, not really. Burger & Barrel is still a baby.

You’ve starred on Chopped — how important is it for chefs to have a television presence today?

I don’t think it’s that important. A lot of people say I should be on TV because I have that personality. Plus I enjoy it. When I’m in the room, I like to interact. I’m a chef and host. A lot of chefs don’t like that. It’s called a back-of-house position for a reason, and a lot of people don’t want to be out front. I’m different and comfortable in whom I am. I’ve been at this place for 10 years, and I know almost everyone who comes through the door. It’s a family-oriented place. So do I think it’s important? No — I know a lot of people who go that route and fall on their ass. It’s important to have your restaurant work first.

What are the best and worst things about working in a kitchen?

The worst is standing on your feet and the overall environment, and the nights and holidays. And the best is that I enjoy the camaraderie and atmosphere, the electricity and getting your ass kicked. There’s something to be said about having 300 to 500 people all having a great time. If you come into my house or my restaurant, I’m going to offer you a drink. And you can’t offer someone something to drink without something to eat. So my dad would say you have to give them some nibbles.