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Meet Chef Eric Beach

When you see Chip's Pub III's Chef, ask this East Haddam resident about his chowder and ice story.

 isn't exactly what you would call "refined" - especially with signs that read things like "Beware of pickpockets and loose women" adorning the walls. It is comfortable, however. The low lighting, dark wood with thick coats of polish, and a fully-stocked bar with plenty of seating creates an atmosphere that only a true pub can deliver. 

The watchful eye and talented hand behind the flourishing dining establishment sits at the edge of a bar stool, smiling behind a full beard and mustache, younger than you would guess, but with all of the approachability and pragmatic aura you would come to expect from Chip's head chef. 

Chef Eric Beach served his time in the dishwashing right of passage as many other chefs do as teenagers. It seems you can't fill a plate without having scrubbed it this industry. At 33, Beach says he has been at it for nearly half of his life, cooking for the last 15 years. 

Born in Clinton, Beach attended  and moved on to the Culinary Institute of America after graduating. 

"I kind of knew this is what I wanted to do. It feels natural," said Beach of cooking. "Once you do it once, it's either in you or it isn't. You know instantly."

Beach's first foray into culinary pursuits began when he started dabbling with spices, a daunting element for some that can make or break even the simplest of dishes. Beach joked that a few dashes of salt and pepper in a pot of Ragu had him feeling awfully chef-like.

Every chef has a story and each story has a chapter for embarrassing mishaps. Beach's chapter ranges from funny disasters to downright dangerous and painful. He recalls being asked to move a large pot of chowder into a large bucket of ice. Rather than place the pot of chowder into the ice, Beach poured the pot of chowder right into the ice. 

"There was lots of yelling," laughed Beach. 

Beach has moved up considerably from salting pasta sauce and ruining chowder to contributing about half of the recipes for the dishes on Chip's menu. 

His favorite thing to cook in the kitchen? "Anything with a nice rich sauce and lots of ingredients. And soup," said Beach. "Anything you can pin-point the different ingredients without one thing being too overwhelming."

As for cooking at home, Beach leaves work in the office and his wife takes over.

Beach says she hadn't cooked before they met, but that his wife of nine years has become a phenomenal chef. His favorite and her specialty is Chicken Paprikash. Beach and his wife have two children together.

While Beach has no plans to leave Chip's or Connecticut any time soon, he says that running his own restaurant is certainly an attractive idea.

"Every chef's dream is to own his own restaurant," said Beach. 

For now, there's plenty of time to head on down to Chip's Pub III and ask for Chef Beach.  

Peter J.P. Shoesmith August 11, 2011 at 04:45 PM
They forgot to mention what a great neighbor he is too !! He helps everyone in a pinch !

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