Chef Molly Patrick is unapologetically bad-a$$ (for lack of a better term). She grew up in Georgia, got her GED at 16 and immediately enrolled in college. While in college she worked in various restaurants and realized she was passionate about food, but didn’t know much about it. She said “I knew nothing, but I wanted to know everything. And I asked myself, How do I learn?” So, she packed up her backpack and headed to France for the next year where she learned how to cook over open fire, make bread, plant, harvest, make cheese, etc. When she came back to the states she received her MBA from Georgia Tech and soon headed to Spokane.

Chef Molly moved to Spokane with her husband around 16 years ago and worked at the Doubletree Hotel in the valley. Over the years she worked in restaurants around Spokane including C I Shenanigans, Ella’s Supper Club, and the Coeur d’Alene Casino, where she worked as sous chef for Adam Hegsted.

You might be surprised to learn that Molly never went to culinary school and doesn’t have any formal training. She learned everything she knows from other chefs, trying new things, and reading cookbooks. When asked how she gets her inspiration she said, “I just get an idea in my head and I go with it. I start with flavors and ingredients of the season and use that as my basis then update and change things as I find new inspiration. It’s all about how flavors go together and how we want to present it on a plate.” Molly is always reading and learning new techniques and applying new ideas to her recipes. Her techniques are often non-traditional and that is what makes dining at The Blackbird and Manito Tap House so exciting! You almost always get to try something that you have never had before, and I bet you’ll like it. Like the Peanut Butter Jalapeno Crunch Burger on the new menu at Manito Tap House.

About The Blackbird.

The Blackbird used to be home to the historic Broadview Dairy building. When they decided to turn it into The Blackbird they deliberately kept the building as original as possible and did a lot of repurposing. They used the old cream cooling panels in their bar, old wheels as tables, kept all the original brick walls, etc. Next time you are dining at The Blackbird, take a look at their chandelier, thats an original too.  The Blackbird has been in business for about three years now and it has been Molly’s baby since day one.  They offer a new fresh sheet every two weeks and use those fresh sheets as inspiration for their every day menu.

An interesting note about Molly is she doesn’t like olive oil, so she doesn’t use it in any of her recipes. I would venture to say she is one of the only restaurants in town that doesn’t use any olive oil!

Favorite cooking show?

Chef’s Table, Mind of a Chef

Is there a chef you admire the most? Why?

Rene Redzepi & Thomas Keller & Dominquie Crenn “She’s a badass and the first female chef to get James Beard Award”

What set of skills or characteristics do you have that you think set you apart?

Chef Molly is not afraid to try anything. She will do whatever. “People ask me, what do you do here and I say, whatever the F*** I want.”

What do you like to do in your spare time?

She likes to read (biographies, thrillers, cook books) and spend time with her three kids. Her daughter is actually working at Incrediburger downtown while she attends college. She also loves to BBQ on her grill year-round. 

Spokane Chef Spotlight - Molly Patrick

Where do you like to eat around Spokane?

Wandering Table, Gilded Unicorn, Italia Trattoria. “I can’t wait to eat at Cochinito Taqueria all the time.” We don’t eat out a lot because we do a lot of cooking at home. All my kids know how to cook.”

What ingredients do you like to work with?

Love. (said with a mischievous smile)

Spokane Chef Spotlight - Molly Patrick

What can we expect from The Blackbird and Manito Tap House?

Great food, always changing thoughts and ideas, and improving. “I just want to continue to make great food in whatever capacity. I used to think that I wanted all sorts of restaurants and an empire, but I don’t anymore.” She is very content with where she’s at.

“I’d rather have two really freaking great restaurants, that are both different, than a handful of ok restaurants.”

What is your favorite thing on the menu at Blackbird?

She couldn’t decide so I rephrased the question to: If you were to sit down and order something right now, what would it be? To which she instantly said, “The Carne Asada Rib. It’s a big ass, t-rex rib, with pickled red onion, lime, and cilantro, with grilled flour tortillas”. It’s currently on the fresh sheet but will be permanently added to the menu soon!

You’re on death row, what would your last meal be?

“Spaghettio’s. Maybe add some meatballs and ground peppers.” I have to be honest, I really didn’t think anyone on this planet liked spaghettio’s. But Chef Molly loves them! She would also want some mac & cheese, a chocolate cake donut, Reese’s peanut butter cups, cinnamon bears, and chips & salsa. She has no shame in her garbage food game. 🙂

If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?

1. iPod “I have to have my music.”

2. Books

3. My Kids. “They are the only thing that would keep me sane and also drive me insane.”

What is your favorite cereal? You can tell a lot about a person based on their favorite cereal…

Fruity Pebbles