At just 24 years old, Cody Tiner is already a kitchen pro. Working in restaurants since he was 14, Tiner was named head chef of downtown hot spot CW’s Gin Joint. He recommends the popular grilled octopus, which he says is simply quality ingredients married with good cooking.
What’s your favorite thing for dinner outside of your restaurant?
I’ve been going to Rooster & the Till since it opened. They change the menu so much, but right now my favorite is definitely the fried quail dish with shaved lard over the top and then some heirloom tomatoes, pepper aioli and charred lemon. Every time I go there I get that dish.
How did you get into cooking?
My mom worked a lot growing up, and a lot of times we’d either eat out or eat leftovers. I got home before my mom did and started experimenting with whatever was in the pantry. Sometimes it worked and she was really happy. Other times, she was like, “We’re going to order a pizza.” I don’t cook for myself. I cook for other people.
How would you describe the food in your restaurant?
I would describe it as elegant comfort food with a French twist. We have a duck confit entrée, and I just love duck confit. It’s just fatty and rich, and it’s filling. It feels like Sunday dinner.
CW’s Gin Joint
633 N. Franklin St. | (813) 816-1446
Rooster & the Till
6500 N. Florida Ave. | (813) 374-8940
Read about the other chefs we talked to in our TAMPA Downtown Best Thing I Ever Ate feature here.