Chef Q&A: Michael J. Case

Head chef Michael Case of Porky's Last Stand with a smoked chicken dinner – an entire half chicken lightly seasoned with spices and delicately smoked, served, with two sides.

Jenine C. Ouillette/Special to the Eagle

Head chef Michael Case of Porky's Last Stand with a smoked chicken dinner – an entire half chicken lightly seasoned with spices and delicately smoked, served, with two sides.

Head chef Michael Case of Porky's Last Stand with a smoked chicken dinner – an entire half chicken lightly seasoned with spices and delicately smoked, served, with two sides.

Jenine C. Ouillette/Special to the Eagle

Head chef Michael Case of Porky's Last Stand with a smoked chicken dinner – an entire half chicken lightly seasoned with spices and delicately smoked, served, with two sides.

Porky's - Marco

701 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco

Porky’s Last Stand, 701 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco Island. Phone: 394-8727

Began working at present restaurant?

Seven years, I started working here November 2001.

Who or what inspired you to become a chef/cook?

I’m a native Floridian: I just fell into it after graduating high school and I haven’t looked back since. Well, you could say I also looked ahead because along the line I earned my Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales in Miami.

What was your first restaurant job?

The old Shoney’s on the East Trail that’s now Fitzgerald’s – I actually started working there while I was still attending high school.

How long have you been cooking professionally?

Ten years, and I went right to line cook.

How would you describe your cooking style?

American Traditional, that’s my barbecue side, and adding with a tropical twist describes my unique talents creating our special seafood dishes

What is your most popular dish?

Baby Back Ribs, slow-smoked over a wood fire — that’s our house specialty — but our own Porky’s Original Barbecue Sauce sets us apart from the rest.

Where do you like to eat out on the island?

Oh, Konrad’s or Arturo’s is good; and Rookie’s is like here — I like to see what they’re doing.

What is your favorite snack?

A piece of fruit or a small salad — I’ve been on a healthy kick for the past year.

Do you cook at home? If so, what would we always find in your freezer?

Yes, we do mostly chicken and steaks on the grill.

What is your specialty? Why?

Seafood — I like to prepare it in unexpected but tasty ways. We do a lot of seafood dishes here at Porky’s, so I like to create a Fresh Catch special on the weekend — you know, keep the menu fresh.

What annoys you most in the kitchen?

Disorganization and cleanliness — I can’t work in a mess and I really expect everything to be put back where it belongs.

What do you enjoy most about your profession?

The freedom to experiment and create different specials, including our lunch menu and the soup we make from scratch for our salad bar. Also, not in season, but during the summer I like to come out into the dining room and talk with the customers and hear them say they enjoyed their meal.

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