Patrick and Stephanie Kirchen opened Crossings in 2013 to rave reviews. Their food is fresh, local and creative. It’s fine dining with sophistication, but warmth and comfort from every element. The lighting, the beautiful brick walls, the light beaming from the south facing windows all contribute to creating a very special space. Lalo is the Executive Chef. He and Patrick go way back working together for years, building a creative relationship that centers around food and providing comfort to a local community. If you are looking for a gorgeous dining experience in a gorgeous space with comforting hospitality Crossings is the spot for you.
Your inspiration: Where does it come from?
Patrick: I am inspired every day by the opportunity to engage with new people who enjoy food and wine and are interested in dining where a complete experience of creative food, polished friendly service, and stylish ambience all play a part in the occasion. Meeting people and cultivating relationships epitomizes the inspiration and meaning of Crossings…A place where life paths cross and memories are created.
Lalo: My inspiration came from the first chef I worked with when I discovered how I can put flavors together.
What cookbook that you own is the most worn and tattered? What page is earmarked?
Patrick: Gastronomique is most used! Too many pages to list. Whenever we collaborate on recipes, we always research the proper definitions and executions of what we are presenting and describing.
Lalo: The cookbook I use most often is Delmonico’s, I love all of the classic recipes in the book. Every page is marked!
What smells in the kitchen get you the most fired up?
Patrick: The smell of garlic sauteeing.
Lalo: Favorite smell is thyme in the kitchen.
How do you take your coffee? Favorite places for coffee?
Patrick: I drink coffee black. My favorite place for coffee is anywhere with my wife.
Lalo: I drink my coffee black. My favorite spot is in the restaurant with my crew before starting the shift
What are you reading right now for fun?
Patrick: I am reading Les Vins du Rhone which I picked up when I visited Hermitage this last February.
Lalo: I am reading a book titled “When Nations Fail”.
What irritates you the most?
Patrick: I am most irritated by people who cannot bother to recognize the work that those around them are putting in to make their experience, and they somehow feel entitled to demand being treated in a way they do not treat others.
Lalo: My own mistakes irritate me most.
What is your favorite pair of work shoes.
Patrick: My favorite pair of work shoes is my Maganni oxfords. They are comfortable even after eight hours on my feet.
Lalo: My Birkenstock clogs
Ideal day off?
Patrick: My ideal day off is spent with my wife and son. Some activity such as going to the beach or a movie. Grilling steaks at home to serve with a caesar salad made from scratch. And of course a nice bottle of wine!
Lalo: Monday is my ideal day off…
What is something new you are creating in the kitchen right now?
Patrick: We collaborate often on ideas, especially for our winemaker dinners and chef’s table dinners. We are working on veal cheeks at the moment. They are braised in a cold brewed coffee infused tequila and served over diced potato hash and finished with a reduction of the infused tequila and the braising liquid. One of our bartenders is helping with the infusion and sourcing the coffee. We started working on the dish for a wine pairing and discovered a very special coffee from Blue Bottle, sourced from a very small farm in Cavea, Columbia. The tasting notes included flavors of strawberry, dried fruits, vanilla, and basil. We paired the braised veal cheeks with a Santa Rita Hills pinot noir. The winemaker was blown away not only because the pairing worked beautifully with his wine (which he was very skeptical about) but also because of our willingness to think of different ways to bring out flavors in food and wine.
Lalo: I am working on creating more artistic presentations with my dishes, especially my specials.