Nantucket Portraits

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Humans of Nantucket--Tim Pitts

Rob Smith

Where are you from?

"Shreveport, Louisianna."

When did you get to Nantucket?

"1989. Me and my wife Ruth worked at DeMarco for five seasons, and then the Summer House for two. And then after we had Jack, our second child, we decided it wasn't gonna cut it... working the same hours, way out in 'Sconset... so this place [The Bistro] was for sale, and we decided we could split our shifts up. It just made sense. That was '97."

What brought you here in the first place?

"My brother used to work with Ruth. She was coming out here to work at DeMarco, and she needed a chef to work with her. So my brother called me... I met Ruth at DeMarco, and the following March we were married. That's how that happened. When we had our first child, Emily, we decided this was a good place to raise kids. Which it's turned out to be."

How did you get into cooking?

"Again, through my brother. He was working at a restaurant... I had worked in restaurants before, but nothing serious. He was working at a really fine place and I went to be the pasta guy at this Italian private dining club down in Louisiana. From there on I decided it was something really awesome, because it was something creative, and I could make a little money... a little."

What's your number one goal as a chef on Nantucket?

"I want our diners to experience well-prepared food, in a casual environment... stuff that's handmade with a lot of love and creativity. But no so unusually unaproachable that you would be afraid to eat it."

You play guitar as well. Tell us more about your musical life.

"I started playing guitar when I was fourteen. The South is very different in its approach to music and food. Down there everybody played something. And they didn't care if you went to school for it. And many people were great chefs who had never been to culinary school. You were much more likely to come across people who were great players, and great chefs, who just sort of knew how to do it. It's a constant there... I find music and food to be very similar. There's texture, and there's rhythm in both... there are things that are constant and classic that are worth following and understanding, but there's also a lot of new experimental stuff that can be fantastic. Music and food work very well together in my head. I'll be thinking of a new song arrangement for my band in cooking terms. 'It's not spicy enough, or not quite crunchy enough, or it's a little bland here...' On the flip side, you can give your audience TOO much... ideally you don't want to give them something that's too esoteric, whether it's food or music."


Subject: Tim Pitts
Location: Centre Street Bistro
Date: February 7th, 2016

Humans of Nantucket, modeled after the famous Humans of New York, intends to portray various members of the island community who share with us their lives, dreams and hopes.

Robert Smith is a local landscape and portrait photographer. He will soon begin building a website to feature his work, and will also shortly provide links to his Flickr and Instagram accounts. He can be reached at 508-221-6926