Vitals: Chrissy Jasker, 28, is originally from Hanover Park, but moved to Rockford at the age of 15. She graduated from Belvidere High School in 1999. Currently, Jasker is the kitchen manager at Hawk’s Nest, just south of the MetroCentre. In her free time, she enjoys utilizing Rockford’s many bike paths for walking, biking and enjoying the outdoors.
1. If you could choose any elected official – local, state or national – to speak with one-on-one, who would it be and what would you say? If I could speak with anyone, it would have to be President Barack Obama (D). I want to ask him if I could come to the White House and cook with him like Chef Bobby Flay did. I’d really like to show him how to grill a steak.
2. If you were to move away from the Rock River Valley, what three things would you miss the most? I moved away to Utah a few years ago, and I missed my family, my friends and the Rock River the most.
3. What plans do you have for re-visioning the Hawk’s Nest menu? Since spring is coming up, and we have considerable space for outdoor dining, we are definitely putting lighter items on the menu. We just hired a new chef, and he’s helping me roll out this exciting new menu. Also, we are adding a ton of new sandwiches, which are easy to manage while eating outdoors. When the weather gets nice, more people want to eat outside, so we have to offer items that reflect this. We’re also going to be adding pork chops for customers to dine on in downtown Rockford’s only outdoor beer garden.
4. How much of your offering is made from scratch? We make way more from scratch than most people would imagine. We prepare our own inside rounds for Italian beef sandwiches, we smoke our own pork butts and beef brisket for pulled pork and reuben sandwiches, as well as making homemade soups and specials every day.
5. Question from last week’s “This week in The Times” participant, Mike Clark: What are some easy ways to prepare and eat healthier foods? When it comes to healthy foods, preparation is just as important – if not more important – than the actual food choice. Grilling is always a healthy way to cook meats and vegetables. As for food choices, try to stick with leaner meats like chicken and lean cuts of beef.
“This week in The Times” is a weekly survey of people selected by The Rock River Times staff. The column does not accept unsolicited submissions.
From the Apri 7-13, 2010 issue