TUCKER CENTER SPOTLIGHT
CHEF ROBERT BINDER
EXECUTIVE CHEF FOR CENTER CATERING AT THE DONALD L. TUCKER CIVIC CENTER
Q: How long have you been a Chef?
A: I have been a Chef for twenty-six years. I started cooking at the Radisson Hotel on Monroe Street where Hotel Duval now is; where I worked as a Sous Chef for five years. From there I attended Culinary School at Keiser where I was in the first graduating class. I then began an externship at the Governor’s Club downtown under Master Chef Jack Shoop and worked as his Banquet Chef for five years.
Q: How long have you been working at the Tucker Center?
A: About five years now.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a chef at the Tucker Center?
A: I enjoy having the opportunity to serve large and small parties, a variety of foods and price points... The work is never boring!
Q: Give us examples of some catering options you offer at Tucker Center?
A: The client has the option to choose between a buffet style meal and a plated meal. Each of these options ranges from basic to very complex depending on the wishes and budget of the client. The buffet can be a simple one protein, one vegetable, and one starch meal or can be structured to include various carving stations and action stations. For plated meals, there are also a lot of variations we can use, ranging from something as simple as pasta to flank steak and shrimp. We are also available to do simple events that only require hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.
Q: What do you consider your specialty/ favorite thing to make?
A: There is not a specific dish I consider to be my specialty, but rather the way I prepare it. I like to find the freshest ingredients available and then utilize them with local ingredients to create the best dish possible.
Q: How did you get started learning how to do ice carvings? What are some of your favorite ones you have created?
A: I learned to carve ice from another chef. My favorite carving was probably a multi block Dragon we did for a Sushi party on Landis Green
Q: The Tucker Center offers offsite catering as well. What kind of events have you done?
A: We have done multiple events at The Turnbull Center, Mission San Luis, The Challenger Center, and private residences for weddings, cocktail parties, luncheons, parties, etc. We are also now a preferred vendor at Florida State University, so we are authorized to cater anywhere on FSU’s campus.
Q: What size events are you equipped to Cater?
A: What sets the Tucker Center apart is the scale of people we can serve. We are able to serve 1,700 people in our Exhibition Hall, which is very hard to find in Tallahassee. We have done box lunch events for 5,000 down to breakfast for 4 and everything in between.
Q: How does the Tucker Center accommodate those with dietary restrictions?
A: We are happy to work with clients on specific dietary needs, we want all guests to feel welcome and satisfied with the meal.