What made you decide to enter New Orleans’ culinary scene?
I have worked in restaurants from the time I was 14. I met my best friend and now partner in Melt, Miles Tully Jr., while we were both bussing tables many years ago. We would always say that one day the two of us would own our own spot; so when the opportunity presented itself, we jumped on it.
Is there any significance to the location—2549 Banks Street—choice for Melt?
The owner of the building handpicked my partner to run a restaurant in this space. Miles is someone who is totally in tune with the restaurant scene. He knew that this was going to be an excellent location for what we wanted to do. With all of the changes and growth happening in the area, when he got the call he knew this wasn’t something you say no to.
How did you decide to make gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches a central element to the restaurant?
Melt is really more about all things cheese. You can look at the menu and see we have plain grilled cheese, but also specialty melts with cheeses, made-from-scratch sauces, meats and more. We have cheese and charcuterie boards, baked brie, mac and cheese, spinach artichoke and cheese dip and many more dishes that highlight cheese.
Is the creative process for your music reflected in the creative process for Melt’s signature dishes?
I have always worked in bands where it is a total group effort in everything we do. Creating Melt’s menu has been along those lines in the sense that Miles would bring an idea to the table and we would put it together and then discuss what we could add or change to make the dish even better.
What is your perfect meal at Melt?
The best thing to start off with would be the cheese curds; there is nothing better than fried cheese. Then I would move on to the Kush’s Melt, it’s crab-boiled shrimp, pimento cheese and a house-made basil aioli. [The Kush’s Melt won the best shrimp po-boy at the 2017 Oak Street Po-Boy Festival.] All of our food goes perfect with one of our craft cocktails. I would sip on a pineapple-basil margarita made with all house-made ingredients, including pineapple-infused tequila, basil simple syrup and sour mix from scratch. We make as much as possible fresh in our kitchen; we are the real deal here at Melt.