Executive Chef of Ruby Tuesday
By Hope S. Philbrick
As executive chef of Ruby Tuesday, Chef Peter Glander’s influence reaches from Maryville, Tennessee, where the company is based, to 800 restaurants around the world.
He studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and has worked in acclaimed restaurants like Jean George, Atelier at the Ritz-Carlton Central Park South and The Modern in New York, Chez Panisse in California, and Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.
He recently answered some questions during a cooking demonstration at the company headquarters.
You could work anywhere. Why rural Tennessee?
I would not want to leave this area. I am enthralled by the food culture of this area. We have amazing farmers and amazing food. This area will start to showcase itself as a powerhouse of food culture in the United States.
New York will always be there, we’re more casual.
What is your goal with the Ruby Tuesday menu?
What we’re doing with Ruby Tuesday is casual fine dining; more upscale but the culture is more relaxed, so burgers in a fun ambiance. We also have awesome cocktails but we have to focus on burgers while constantly upgrading. There is no MSG, no chemicals, we’re trying to use as much fresh as we can. We have to make food more homey and more appealing.
What’s your commitment to ‘local’ and ‘healthy’?
My job is to oversee 800 restaurants internationally. Ruby Tuesday is American with a percentage of the menu local, so for example in India rather than a beef burger we have lamb curry and in Hong Kong we have noodle dishes.
In America you can’t find non-GMO food. No farm is growing non-GMO soybeans in a quantity to support a restaurant company of our size. In Europe they have to find non-GMO.
We’re trying our best every day to fight the good fight.
Do you have executive support in this?
Yes. If we don’t make food better than it is today we’re going to be behind.
Why did you leave Blackberry Farm?
Because in this job I can really affect the way America eats. Blackberry Farm reaches the top two percent of the American population. Here I can reach 70 percent.
To learn more about genetically modified organisms (GMO), see the documentary GMO OMG. After viewing the film, @21plusTravel wrote, “Two thumbs up! Must see! Should win an Oscar for best documentary!” At a recent screening, Atlanta Chef Steven Satterfield said, “Food is supposed to be about joy and pleasure, not fear and worry.” If you see him setting fire to seeds in front of Miller Union, you’ll know why if you’ve watched the film.
-Photo © HSP Media LLC