Chef Chad Livingston

We wanted to get to know the chef behind the success of one of Amelia Island's most popular restaurants, Burlingame. We sat down with Chef Chad Livingston and asked him 13 questions. Chef Chad is a humble chef, with an impressive repertoire. He's a calm commander in the kitchen and although young in age (by industry standards), he is a tenacious and fearless professional chef... with great taste in music, to boot.

Amelia Island

Getting to Know Chef Chad Livingston

What did you eat for dinner last night?
CC: Cooper's Hawk in Jacksonville. I had the Mexican Drunken Shrimp and the Caprese Flatbread

Favorite cheap dish to eat?
CC: I'm a sucker for good Chinese takeout.

What would be your last meal?
CC: Probably just some fresh cod fish... really simple... thrown on a wood fire grill and cooked rustically.

Who/what got you started cooking?
CC: My Dad. To this day, I'll go to his house whenever I can, have dinner and see what he's cooking. There are many items on the menu that are inspired by my Dad. He's a Landscape Architect and an extremely creative individual.

If you could personify your dishes, what personality would they have?
CC: Simple but curious. I always take the approach to something that's been done and try to put my spin on it.

Person who you would most like to cook for?
CC: One of my favorite musicians, John Frusciante. He's my favorite musician and inspires me to try different cooking styles. I don't want to repeat myself in the past. I want to try new things and change things up.

What are your favorite ingredients with which to work?
CC: Fresh seafood, or anything fresh to the peak of the season. One of the most challenging, but crucial aspects of my job is sourcing fresh ingredients.

How/where do you source your ingredients?
CC: It's a lot of trial and error. Trying certain purveyors and taking a stab at what they've got and finding out what works, what doesn't, and narrowing things down from there.

Favorite food, native to Fernandina/Amelia Island?
CC: Shrimp

Favorite accolade you've received?
CC: I try to be pretty modest about all of that. I'm competitive in sports, but not in cooking.

Do you bother watching cooking shows/Favorite?
CC: Growing up, my dad was always watching Emeril Lagasse and would always try to cook something different.

What are some experiences you brought from Denver to working in Amelia Island?
CC: I worked at a restaurant called Fruition in Denver, where the approach to Burlingame's menu is inspired. At Fruition there was always such a progressive menu change, and friendly competition among chefs there. They were always trying to outdo each other, but they were friends. Here at Burlingame, we're always changing things so frequently and trying new creations.

What experiences have been life changing while working at Burlingame?
CC: This has been the first time that I have been in a leadership role and it has taught me a lot about leading people. I really have come to appreciate learning how to take care of my staff. We're just a bunch of young chefs, determined to come up with new and exciting food from scratch. My whole team isn't afraid to work and we're doing everything from scratch.

Located just off the coast of northeast Florida, Amelia Island is easy to reach, but hard to forget. With 13 miles of beautiful beaches, abundant native wildlife, and pristine waters, this barrier island has long been a beloved destination for visitors and residents alike.