Tara Abrams, executive chef at Crazy Uncle Mike’s, recently answered some questions from Florida Food & Farm about her career and the Boca Raton restaurant where she works.

Tara Abrams, executive chef

Question: Tell us about your first kitchen experience.
Answer: I was a food runner at a restaurant, and the chef would have me prep falafels everyday.

Q: What are your favorite kitchen tools and why?
A: My paring knife and my spoons. Those tools are very versatile.

Q: As a chef working in Florida, what do you get most excited about?
A: The fish my friends like to bring me when they are out on the water.

Q: Describe yourself in three words.
A: Strong, independent, nurturing.

Q: Tell us about some of the local farms that you work with.
A: Swank Farms (in Loxahatchee). I did a brunch with them in November.

Q:Who has helped you get to the place you are now?
A: I’d say my mentor Dudley Rich, who is now retired; I worked with him five years. Of course, multiple people have helped me.

The Charred Heirloom Carrots at Crazy Uncle Mike’s.

Q: How would you describe the local chef community — and how are you involved?
A: It’s a small community, but I think we all like to work off each other by motivating each other to do our best.

Q: Back to Crazy Uncle Mike’s — 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?
A: We are definitely not your ordinary restaurant. We are also a brewery and live-music venue

Crazy Uncle Mike’s
6450 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton 33487