Chef Emerson Frisbie of 3rd & 3rd

Interview with Chef Emerson Frisbie

Name: Emerson Frisbie
Title: Executive Chef at 3rd & 3rd
Follow Emerson on Instagram

FFF: Tell us about your first kitchen experience.

Answer (Emerson Frisbie): My first kitchen experience was working in a specialty foods store called Jack’s in my hometown of Washington, CT. I was a junior in high school and began in the bakery. I learned to make dough, form loaves and baked several different styles of bread and pastries.

After a few months there, I had transitioned into making fresh handmade pastas for their retail case. I worked my way through each department learning to butcher meat and fish — and then lastly, into the prepared foods and catering department.

FFF: What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

EF: My favorite kitchen tool is my knife. Everything begins with a good knife. The right knife for the right job.

FFF: Describe yourself in three words.

EF: Passionate, creative, compassionate

FFF: What is your beverage of choice?

EF: Quad restretto espresso with almond milk.

FFF: What are some of the local farms you work with?

EF: I try and incorporate local products and farms into my menus, wherever possible. I love having Bedner’s Market and Captain Clay Seafood at the end of the block. It’s nice to be able to have the freshest produce and fish literally right out back. I’ve recently started working the Green Life Farms from Lake Worth, FL. Green Life is a new farm to the are, and has a selection of hydroponic greens and some really great blends.

I love Swank Farm for their great greens, heirloom tomatoes, turnips, kohlrabi and micro greens. Kai Kai Farms has great tomatoes and an amazing selection of beans. Lox Farms also has a great selection of amazing produce. Gratitude has the best selection of mushrooms, including oyster, maitake, lion’s mane and trumpet. They also have the best turmeric and amazingly fragrant ginger. I’ve recently begun working with Sunshine Provisions, as well, to locate and bring in local proteins and products. I’m always keeping an out for stuff at the West Palm Beach Green Market.

FFF: Who has helped you get to the place you are now?

EF: There are far too many people to list who have helped me to get where I am today. First and foremost is my older brother Deven DeMarco, who introduced me to gastronomy and the ability to learn about different cultures through food. My family has always supported my endeavors.

Every line cook, dishwasher, bartender, food runner, busser, waitress, waiter, hostess and chef that I’ve worked with has helped me in some way get to where I am today. I would have to say the first chef who has had the greatest influence on my style of cooking has been Joel Viehland, chef and owner of Swyft in Kent, CT — who I had the pleasure of working for at The Community Table in Washington, CT. The second is chef Dan Magill, who I worked for and opened Arethusa AI Tavolo with, in Bantam, CT.

FFF: How would you describe the local chef community — and how are you involved?

EF: The culinary community in South Florida is growing. There are a great deal of talented, passionate and dedicated people in the business. You have to break through the thick layer of mediocre food and giant egos to see the true camaraderie and community that is present in South Florida. There really isn’t a need for improvement, per se, it’s more about just continuing to maintain an active dialogue with one another and keeping each other involved in building connections and strengthening them.

FFF: Back to your restaurant — why should we love the restaurant, and what are you doing there that’s truly unique to the restaurant and to you as a chef?

EF: 3rd & 3rd is a hidden gem in Delray Beach. A great bar, live music and a forever evolving menu that is centered around a few great mainstays. It is small and off the beaten path with no sign or pomp and circumstance — just good vibes and good food.

FFF: Is there a little guy that you’d like to tell the world about?

EF: I would like to give a shout out to all the hard working people who are behind the scenes and can easily get overlooked and under appreciated. The line cooks, sous chefs, pastry chefs, prep cooks, dishwashers and food runners who contribute to the success of each restaurant, each service and each plate.