Seeing Red: The Talent in the Kitchen

Today for Seeing Red, we take a look behind-the-scenes where all the magic happens in Red Rooster- the kitchen! Chefs Charlene Johnson-Hadley and Rachel Hien are both line cooks for Red Rooster and can always be found behind the line with warm smiles and laughter. Their different backgrounds play a large role in their culinary careers and in these two quick interviews, we get a closer look at the Red Rooster's talent.

Charlene Johnson-Hadley

What do you do here at the Red Rooster?

I'm a line cook. I work the grill station right now that's pretty much it. I take care of the salmon dish, the burger, and the lemon chicken.  The lemon chicken isn't actually grilled, it is roasted but it's part of my responsibility to pick it up.  There's also the fried items.

What do you like about working here at the Red Rooster?

I like the mix of cultures that we're around. There are people from all over here, and we also deal with a lot foods and spices from all over the world.  It gives you a good exposure to these things.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.  What do you do outside of Red Rooster?

Outside of Red Rooster, primarily I'm a mom.  I have two kids Ben and Chloe and that's my number one priority. I also like shopping and make-up;  I like things that are very girly, because I feel like I work in a male-dominated industry and I don't have the opportunity to be feminine.  The clothes I wear are very masculine.  I do like to wear dresses when I am not working!

What is an interesting fact about you that most people wouldn't know?

Oh my God!  Well, I was on Food Network's Chopped.  I got chopped from chopped. It aired a year ago. And it was a serious upset.  During the competition I was doing really well and something very silly messed me up. And it was a situation where I didn't check something.  We had to cook quail and my quail was closer to rare side than medium rare side.  But behind the scenes there was a lot of upset because they felt that the person who wasn't using their ingredients correctly should have been chopped instead of me.  That is a part of the game:  you have to use all the ingredients, and that guy kind of cheated.

Is there anything you're looking forward to?

I definitely want to own my own business at some point. I don't know if it's going to necessarily be a restaurant.  I know it'll be food related but I was always thinking like a bed and breakfast or some mom and pop cafe or something like that, but I'm not sure what it would be but definitely food related.

Rachael Hine

So what do you do here at Red Rooster?

I'm a saute cook and I'm a grill cook on weekends like Saturday, Sunday, and Monday night. I'm in the front on Thursdays and Fridays. Over here I do the crawfish, the dirty rice, the soup, and the jerk bacon.

What do you like about working here at the Rooster?

Just like Charlene says, you know, the different community.  I'm African so this is like my neighborhood.

What part of Africa are you from?

The Ivory Coast.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

I like to go to the gym because I think when you work in a restaurant you have to work it off.  Ha, ha! Yeah you have to go to the gym, you know, something to relax your body. I like running and cycling.

Tell me some interesting fact about you that most people may not know.

I'm a mom of two girls.  One is 10 and one is 18 months.

What's something you're looking forward to?

I'm not done cooking. I mean I have to learn more.  I want to travel to other places to learn other food.I want to go to Thailand and Vietnam.  I have that Asian style calling me and pulling me.  But I would like to learn other styles too.

Photos: Cyndi Amaya