Chef Spotlight: Brody Olive

August 24, 2017

Any chef worth his salt has to be able to multitask in the kitchen but Brody Olive is taking this skill to a new level. The head chef for the Perdido Beach Resort runs not one, but four distinctly different eateries on the same property. “It’s awesome for me,” said Olive. “I have so many different ways to cook on any given day. I might be pulling pizzas from the brick oven in one kitchen and preparing an entire broiled fish in another. I’m never bored!”

Of the four venues under his watch, Voyagers is Olive’s “baby,” where he gets to really stretch his Johnson & Wales training to showcase upscale specialties like Gulf oysters and grouper to locally made cheeses and aged meats. His best moment in the kitchen, any kitchen, is when the guest leaves the choices up to him. “When someone turns over their dining experience to us, I love to do something really unexpected. Really up the wow factor.”

The desire to please patrons doesn’t stop at the dinner table either, Olive is part of a team that includes employees who have been with the Perdido Beach Resort for roughly 20 years. It helps that the business is family owned, according to Olive. “We work for a husband and wife, so there’s a lot of loyalty on the property.”

Sharing the story of what makes the Perdido Beach Resort so special is just part of Olive’s reason for joining the Oyster Cook-Off again this year. Beyond the networking he wants to win over lots of taste buds. “I love food events but the Cook-Off has raised the bar,” he said. “I get to play with these recipes and test them out on a big, willing crowd. Trust me, I hear their feedback and if they love it I know it’s gonna do great back at the restaurant.”

Olive’s main tactic in competition, KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. “Things sometimes look good on paper but the basics matter,” he said. “I like to take a recipe and explore the whole history behind it. Break it down and make one or two tweaks to make it special.”

Olive teases that one of his “tweaks” this year involves smokey pork belly. “It’s so great to get out of the kitchen and spend time with my crew at a fun event like this. Their only complaint is that their hands ache from shucking so many oysters,” he added. “That’s what the beer’s for.”