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Behind every great chef is an owner who supports him or her unflinchingly — at least that’s the dream of most chefs out there. For John Gangler, of Roseville’s Mr. Paul’s Chop House, that dream is a reality.
“It’s so important in this business to have owners who give you the leeway to find the freshest ingredients,” said Gangler, who gushes that the owners of Mr. Paul’s allow him to buy the “highest quality meats and fish.”
That’s a pretty good spot to be in. So good, in fact, that Gangler has spent his entire career — spanning more than 30 years — at the same restaurant, learning the tricks of the trade from each and every chef and cook he’s worked with along the way. “You learn so much,” he said. “Different ways to do things.”
Gangler believes that there are always lessons to be learned in the kitchen. “You never know everything in this business; you learn something every day,” he said. To this day, he picks up tips from TV and maybe gets an idea or two from conversations with customers. Always excited for a new challenge, he’ll even try things that aren’t on the menu when a customer makes
While Mr. Paul’s features many of the traditional dishes you’d expect at a meat house, Gangler’s creative twists (beef wellington, featuring thinly sliced veal, braised and cooked in a port wine sauce) and a dedication to the best Michigan-based foods help them shine. He lists the many prime cuts of meat (from Detroit’s Fairway Packing Company) and fish (from The Lobster Pot) he serves up as a badge of honor, detailing Fairway’s dry-age process with a palpable excitement.
As a self-proclaimed “steak guy,” Gangler’s a carnivore through and through. When not dining at Mr. Paul’s, he sometimes heads over to The Brewery in Clinton Township, where he’s sure to find “good portions and good food.”
Portion and quality are two things that Gangler values above all else, and that influences much of what he does in his own kitchen. “I feel that everybody works so hard in this state,” he says, “and I don’t want anyone going home hungry.”
Mr. Paul’s Chop House
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