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A Passion For The Palate

Douglas Murray's Other Pursuit In Life

Tuesday, 02.22.2011 / 2:44 PM / News
By Tony Khing  - Staff Writer
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A Passion For The Palate
Sharks fans know Douglas Murray has a love for good restaurants. Over the years, he’s listed fine dining places such as The Plumed Horse in Saratoga, Bouchon in Yountville (near Napa in Northern California’s Wine Country) and the Slanted Door in San Francisco’s Ferry Building as his favorites.

Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray, left, celebrates with Antti Niemi after the Sharks' 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Not only does Murray like to eat well, he’s got a knack for the hospitality industry. Murray has a bachelor’s in hotel management from Cornell University and co-invented a hands-free beer tap with several friends from Cornell.

So no one should be surprised that the 30-year-old defenseman enjoys spending time in the kitchen.

“When I have time,” Murray, who doesn’t have a lot during the hockey season, said.

Murray’s culinary passion was cultivated while he was growing up in Sweden. “Food has always been with me,” he said. “My mom and dad cooked. My younger brother (Charles) used to be a chef.”

When Murray has time to cook and shop for produce and proteins, he tries to stay organic. “I go organic quite a bit, but I wouldn’t say I’m religious to it,” Murray said. Yet Murray understands the value of organically produced food. “I don’t like having a lot of crap (pesticides, additives and chemicals),” he said, “put into my food.”

With that in mind, Murray knows where to find good staples and is selective to ensure the best quality. “Quality produce is what makes the food good," he said. “Better produce makes for a better end result.”

Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray (3) checks Edmonton Oilers' Kurtis Foster (26) during first-period NHL hockey game action in Edmonton, Alberta, on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jason Franson)
As for his tools, Murray doesn’t use any particular kind of pot or pan. A lot of top chefs like to use stainless steel, but Murray will even use non-stick cookware. “It used to be that chefs never used non-stick because you couldn’t reduce sauces or do demi-glace,” Murray said of the cooking methods known for thickening and concentrating flavors and for making brown sauce. “But now you can actually do that,” he said. “Most real chefs don’t use non-stick, but it does make it easier for clean-up.”

Another taboo for chefs is using a microwave oven. Studies have shown that microwaving food destroys much of the nutrients and causes problems with the immune system. Murray said the only time he uses the microwave is to make popcorn.

While Murray doesn’t use a certain brand of pot or pan, he does have a favorite knife manufacturer. “I like my Global knives,” he said of the knives which were born in Japan in 1985 and are considered as one of the best in the world. “I have a knife set of theirs.”

So what does Murray like to make? “I’d say steak,” he said. But he does a few more involved items besides a steak. “Lobster tails with champagne sauce and risotto,” Murray added.

Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray shoots the puck as Los Angeles Kings right wing Justin Williams dives for it during the third period of their NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
However, don’t pin him down for a specialty item. “I’m not very good for cooking anything in particular,” Murray said. “Every time I cook, I try something new. I like to know a little bit of everything.

“In order to be good at something,” Murray continued, “you have to cook it a hundred times.”

Of course, Murray has cooked for his teammates. Those who’ve tasted his culinary offerings include Ryane Clowe, Joe Thornton and fellow Swede Niclas Wallin.

“He’s cooked a bunch of stuff for me,” Clowe said. “I’ve been over to his house many times. He’s cooked steaks, seafood and stuff I don’t even know the name of. Whenever I want to try something new, I’ll go over to Dougie’s. He puts a lot of hard work into it.”

Like any good cook or fan of the culinary arts, Murray likes to watch the Food Network and the Cooking Channel. His favorite shows include “Ask Aida” and “FoodCrafters,” which are hosted by Aida Mollenkamp, who, like Murray, went to Cornell University and studied hospitality management.

Besides those shows, Murray will view “Top Chef” on Bravo and the Food Network’s “Barefoot Contessa.” Murray also said Jamie Oliver, who has shows on the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, “is really good.”

When Murray is done with hockey, he’ll be in the culinary industry. “You’ll definitely see me being involved or owning a restaurant,” he said.

Anaheim Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne, of Finland, (8) and San Jose Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray (3) battle for the puck in the first period of a NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Lori Shepler)
But don’t expect to see Murray in the kitchen or with his own television show. There will be no “Crankchef” or “Cooking with Sir” (takeoffs on his two nicknames).

“You won’t see me as a chef,” Murray said. “In order to be a good chef, you need to work for some of the great chefs. You need to spend at least 5-10 years with a really great chef. Once I’m done with hockey, I don’t see myself putting in the work to get to that spot in my life. It’s a lot of hard work.”

NOT IN MY KITCHEN
Murray’s offensive stats this season (a goal and seven assists) won’t turn people’s heads, but two of his defensive stats certainly have made people notice.

Entering tonight’s game in Detroit, Murray leads the team in hits (124) and is second in blocked shots (102). In fact, Murray set a team record with seven blocks on Feb. 5 at Boston.

Who leads the Sharks in blocks? Try Dan Boyle with 113.

Everyone knows he eats up minutes (26:48 average on-ice time is second in the National Hockey League) and is an offensive force (tied for 12th among NHL defensemen with 36 points and is fifth in shots with 167). But earlier this season, Boyle tied his own Sharks record (since broken by Murray) with six blocked shots on Oct. 16 against Atlanta.

NEXT GAME
San Jose begins their three-game road trip today in Detroit at 4:30 p.m. The game is available on CSN California, 98.5 and 102.1 KFOX and the Sharks Radio Network and on www.sjsharks.com.

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 82 41 38 23 79
J. Thornton 82 11 65 20 76
P. Marleau 82 33 37 0 70
L. Couture 65 23 31 21 54
B. Burns 69 22 26 26 48
T. Wingels 77 16 22 11 38
D. Boyle 75 12 24 -8 36
J. Demers 75 5 29 14 34
T. Hertl 37 15 10 11 25
M. Nieto 66 10 14 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 12 5 2 .932 1.87
A. Niemi 39 17 7 .913 2.39
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