RICHMOND, Va. -- Bobo Catoe is a self-described nerd on topics such as beer, vinyl, and superheroes. But what Bo knows best is food. The past Elby's nominee for the best rising chef in Richmond, Catoe can be found creating award-winning dishes in the open kitchen at Alewife in Richmond's Church Hill neighborhood.
"I think my consideration is always flavor first," Catoe said when asked to describe his cooking style and food. "It has to taste good or nobody's gonna care about it."
His style, he said, was challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It was like holy moly, my sustainable seafood restaurant is serving cheeseburgers in Styrofoam to-goes, I felt like I had abandoned everything," he said.
Now that the restaurant dining room has reopened, Bobo can get back to doing what he does best.
"I would say that we're flavor forward. I like to think that we're vegetable focused, even though we're a seafood restaurant. The most hard to attain skill in a kitchen is being able to cook vegetables well and make people want to eat them," he said. "The secret to the food is that I've been so lucky to be around other people who can do it well and make me look good. I've had a good run of people that work with me."
Listen to the podcast to get some pointers on what to talk with Bobo about before striking up a conversation at Alewife.
Click here for tickets to the VisArts Chili Throwdown on October 1.
Click here to attend a live Eat It, Virginia podcast recording with Sub Rosa Bakery founders Evrim and Evin Dogu.