Release Date: April 4,2018
Spotlight Series - Chef Brent - Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina
Brent Schmidt (Executive Chef at Crowne Plaza)
Cooking in the kitchen with mom is a chore to some, but for local Hampton man, Brent Schmidt, it’s where he found his inspiration. He fondly remembers pulling up a chair to the kitchen counter, making PB&J sandwiches, finding recipes in his cookbook for kids and helping with homemade meals.
Chef Brent Schmidt grew up in Hampton, dabbling in the restaurant business starting as a bus boy, and then working his way up. He acquired unique experience working under a sushi chef, he studied at the culinary university, Johnson & Wales, got his Cajun flare working alongside the late Bobby Huber— who was one of the areas best-known chefs and owner of Bobby’s Americana, which is now the Taphouse on Queens Way. Schmidt even owned his own restaurants, one being Brent’s Fine Foods which is now Venture.
After a recent stint at the Eastern Shore, he’s bringing his flavor back to downtown to the Crowne Plaza, where he is the new executive chef. He’s in charge of the Regatta Grille, Latitude 37, all banquet food and his favorite upcoming eatery, Oyster Alley.
Although he’s only been with Crowne Plaza for about five weeks, he’s revamped the food on the menus- such as the crowd-favorite crab dip, seafood chowder and crab cakes. He does research and goes through trial and error to create his perfect tasting recipes, but the only way he truly knows he’s perfected a recipe is customer satisfaction.
“The ultimate thing about my food is guest satisfaction. That’s what I love the most about being a chef,” Schmidt said.
That’s why he’s working hard on Oyster Alley, a cozy outside restaurant and bar that’s located behind Crowne Plaza with a beautiful view overlooking the marina and Hampton River. Oyster Alley opens May 4; complete with live bands on the weekends, Chef Brent’s spectacular specials, and delicious seafood like snow crab and oysters.
“I’m excited to be here. Taking on Crowne Plaza is a new animal. I have to wear a lot of hats, but I have room to play around and freedom to prepare dishes I love,” Schmidt said.
He brought his love for food back to Hampton and is ready for you to come in and get a taste!