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Chef Audry Triplett 
A Chef's Kind Of Chef

Chef Audry Triplett continues to make his mark at Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, one of the country's most popular restaurants.
   
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   AUDRY Triplett first exhibited the ability to make one tough decision after another when he was a youngster in Macon, Miss., and that ability has served him well during his nearly 25 years at Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, where he is the restaurant’s executive chef/partner.
   Unlike many of the nation’s best cooks, he wasn’t inspired by watching others prepare food when he was growing up. In fact, his only interest in food was wanting to know when his mother and great-aunt would have it ready. His interest––like that of many of his relatives––was music, and he was particularly attracted to playing the drums. But all of that changed at 19 when he dropped out of Mississippi Valley State University after one semester and moved to live with his brother in Chicago, where he took the only job he could find––washing pots and pans at Carson Pirie Scott’s restaurant on State Street.
    The restaurant’s chef, Bill Yeager, was immediately impressed by Triplett’s diligence and his ability to complete multiple tasks, including preparing food trays, and he urged him to go to culinary school. “I still loved music at the time and was thinking about going to barber school, but after talking with my dad he reminded me that people always have to eat,” Chef Audry says. “That made up my mind, and I focused on becoming a cook.”





Chef Audry got his culinary training at Washburne Trade School, and after a 17-year stint at Carson Pirie Scott's restaurant, he joined the staff at Gibsons in 1988. As executive chef, he has created a harmonious workplace that has led to stability among the staff. Chef Moises Padillia (below), who has been at Gibsons for more than 20 years, is one of several staffers whose longevity at the same facility is unusual in the restaurant industry.
Filet And Broccoli

4 2-ounce beef tenderloin medallions
2 ½ ounces of olive oil
1 ounce of beef broth
8 ounces broccoli (florets), blanched
2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
2 tablespoons of oregano
  Salt and pepper to taste

In a hot sauté pan, add the olive oil. Sear the medallions on both sides. Season with garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Remove medallions from pan when cooked to your desire. Add broccoli and sauté until hot. Place medallions back into pan and add beef broth to make a little sauce. Remove from heat and serve.



Chef Audry Triplett's Recipe For . . .
   After graduating from Washburne Trade School, Triplett, still working at Carsons, took a number of  part-time catering jobs, where he prepared food for events at country clubs and other banquet facilities. He later left Carsons for jobs at other restaurants, but he returned and eventually became the executive chef at the same restaurant where he used to wash dishes. 
    In 1988, Chef Audry began his stint at Gibsons as a sous chef, and, in 1997, became the executive chef at one of the country’s most popular restaurants among celebrities and non-celebrities. He has put his signature on the menu, and he has impressed on his staff the importance of qualities that have nothing to do with seasoning and cooking techniques. “To be a successful chef,” he says, “you have to have a sense of urgency, be quick and be focused. More important, a chef has to be a good listener. Listen to your customers, and listen to the people you work with. You can learn something from anybody if you listen.”
    That act of listening, plus a healthy dose of respect for those around him, helped Triplett create a family-like environment among the culinary staff, one that considers itself a team. Perhaps that contributes to a very small turnover rate among staffers. A survey reveals that several waiters, line cooks and dishwashers have worked at Gibsons for 10 to 20-plus years. That kind of dedication, observers say, is at the heart of the restaurant's success. “To be successful, you have to enjoy what you’re doing,” Chef Audry says. “I enjoy what I do. I enjoy the people I work for and the people I work with. I’ve never awakened and dreaded having to come to work. I think God put me in this field for a reason. I really did like music––and still do––but I found my love here.”
                                                                                                                              

–– Walter Leavy