[All photos: Cait Kimball Photography]
Cyle Reynolds, sous chef at Nosh, held his first pop-up event as Carbon Catering last night. Old Orchard Beach's seasonal Butcher Burger, owned by Nosh bartender Kevin McAllister, played host to a classic ten-course French dinner for ten. Reynolds had two chefs helping him craft an impressive array of dishes in the kitchen, highlights of which included the ratatouille and a perfectly executed creme brúlee. A capable wait staff handled front of house service, and there was even a host walking guests through each new course, drink pairings, and proper French pronunciations. Carbon Catering's inaugural pop-up was deemed a resounding success by attendees.
Leading up to the event, Jason Loring, chef/co-owner of Nosh, admitted he wasn't quite sure what to expect. "Cyle doesn't have the most cooking experience around, he's not formally trained. He is incredibly dedicated, though, and wants to put himself through the paces, so basically everything he's doing is from book work. He's seen what Tom [Pisha-Duffly] is doing, and I think that inspired him."
Thomas Pisha-Duffly, local pop-up superstar known for the Family Feast series he and wife Mariah host, was cautiously optimistic. "My first Nosh pop-up, Cyle helped me, he was all hands on deck for that event. I'm a big supporter of the pop-up style and I'm hoping the next couple years will see a proliferation of them, so I'm excited to see this happening. That said, first times can get a little messy. I know mine did."
At the end of the evening, visibly weary but pleased, Reynolds said the nicest thing about the event "was learning what I don't know, and being faced with the challenge. I knew I wasn't ready, but I wanted to take it on anyway." He confirmed that he has only been cooking for two years, but explained that chef Rocky Hunter, assisting with the event, taught Reynolds everything he knew. "When I started, I was a dishwasher, and he was my manager. We didn't even get along back then!" He gave credit to his entire staff, saying, "I couldn't have done it without them."
Loring capped off the evening with praise for Reynolds' hard work. "Cyle wanted to do this event at Nosh. I told him only if he could pull off the first one. Well, the next one will be at Nosh."
· Carbon Catering [Facebook]
· All Pop-Ups Coverage [-EME-]