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John and Lisa Are Interviewing…Chef Michael Newkirk of Knife & Fork Inn
Chef Michael: It's a good opportunity for everybody to experience all the best Atlantic City has to offer.
J&L : What do you think about the current state of Atlantic City as a food destination?
Chef Michael: I think it's up and coming.
There have been a lot of great names and restaurants that have came about in the past five or so years.
Places like The Pier, the restaurants along The Walk, and at The Borgata all are great examples of this.
J&:L: How do you keep the menu at a landmark like The Knife & Fork fresh and current?
Chef Michael: I like to keep the menu items seasonal and as fresh as possible.
I like to get ingredients that can be found locally, produce, fish, etc. However, since we are such a landmark, there are certain staples on the menu that will always be there.
J&L: Are there any kitchen oddities that your staff has to put up with in an old, historical building?
Chef Michael: The Knife & Fork actually has a basement, which is where our prep kitchen is located, and in some areas the ceilings are just under 6 feet high.
Also, most of our walk-in refrigerators are located outside so inclement weather often poses a challenge for us.
J&L: As you are located "off-Boardwalk", do you find that you have to lure diners away from the casinos, or do they help to provide a steady stream of business?
Chef Michael: I think that being non-casino actually helps brings a steady stream of diners into the restaurant, because some of the hassle is taken away, such as parking and walking through a large area to find the restaurant.
Many times casino guests are looking for a non-casino restaurant, so we do have concierges that call from the casinos to make reservations for hotel guests.
J&L: Would you say that the Knife & Fork
has a strong connection with the community?
Chef Michael: Definitely.
We have lots of regulars/locals, we also participate in many local fundraising events such as Men R Cooking and Harvest of Hope for The Alcove.
In the past three holiday seasons, we have helped cook meals for the homeless.
J&L: What made you want to be a chef?
Chef Michael: My mom is my biggest inspiration.
From a very young age I used to watch her
and help her
cook in the kitchen, and that's where my earliest desire to be a chef came from.
Chef Michael: It's pretty much impossible to decide on one food for my last meal, but if I had to pick one I'd say my mom's tater-tot casserole, and for dessert lots and lots of chocolate.
Michael Newkirk, Successful Graduate, New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools - 21 Counties: A World of Opportunities
Atlantic County Institute of Technology, Class of 2001
graduated from the commercial foods program of the Atlantic County Institute of Technology
time at ACIT
demonstrated natural ability in all areas of the kitchen.
Michael was a conscientious worker who maintained an â€œAâ€ average.
After graduation, Mike attended the culinary arts program at Atlantic Cape Community College, graduating with an associateâ€™s degree.
was an integral part of the team that entered the junior ACF Chefs Competition, where he
won a bronze medal.
Mike is now the Executive Chef of the Knife and Fork Inn, the second oldest free-standing restaurant in Atlantic City.
has also given his
time and enthusiasm back to the ACIT
program as a member of the Craft Committee and in talking to students about his
A.C. Restaurant Week: Digging In With Knife and Fork
I expected possibly minuscule portions to fit the quality into the $33.09 per person dinner requirement, or at the very least some sacrifice in quality; but it's obvious that Chef Michael Newkirk takes too much pride in his food for that.
Student Success Profiles, New Jersey Vocational Technical School Districts, New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools, NJCCVTS, vo-tech
Michael Newkirk graduated from the commercial foods program of the Atlantic County Institute of Technology in 2001.During his time at ACIT, he demonstrated natural ability in all areas of the kitchen.Michael was a conscientious worker who maintained an "A" average.After graduation, Mike attended the culinary arts program at Atlantic Cape Community College, graduating with an associate's degree.Mike was an integral part of the team that entered the junior ACF Chefs Competition, where he won a bronze medal.Mike is now the Executive Chef of the Knife and Fork Inn, the second oldest free-standing restaurant in Atlantic City.He has also given his time and enthusiasm back to the ACIT program as a member of the Craft Committee and in talking to students about his experiences.