What is your idea of a perfect meal?
I really think the perfect meal is shared, and needs amazing food, conversation, and drink. From my back yard to a restaurant. A great meal can not be had without those elements.
What recipe still gives you goosebumps?
My grandfather’s Sugo, I make this to this day, and I can smell the past.
What cooking personality, living or dead do you most admire?
I really like the spirit of Francis Mallman, and open fire cooking.
What’s a style of cooking foreign to you that you wish you had down pat?
To be honest, Asian, and just about all Asian cuisine. I love to eat it, but can’t cook it to save my life.
Which ingredients do you find yourself using the most?
Pork, salt, and time.
What was your biggest culinary disaster?
There have been a few, but who doesn’t have them. I guess mine would be running out of a dish on a limited menu, on New Years Eve.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi. What food do you dream of?
I would say I dream of large feasts, large format, open fire, wine flowing, laughter. Your normal Bacchanal. If you’re not enjoying yourself, the food won’t taste as good.
What’s your most treasured kitchen tool?
Knives. Sharp, and ready to go.
If you weren’t a chef, in what other occupation could you see yourself excelling?
A teacher, still teaching everyday.
Mario Batali has clogs. What’s your most marked characteristic?
Pork and meat related shirts. Or the tattoos.
What food do you hold in the lowest of regards?
I think it comes down to care. When its thrown together, and slopped-out, I lose respect for it.
What is the quality you most like in a chef?
You must always be learning. You must also be able to master, and teach. But don’t forget the food! Being able to taste, and create, and be an alchemist.
What is the quality you most like in a diner?
Trust, in the kitchen. Trust we will feed you well, trust it is delicious.
Chef Boyardee or Colonel Sanders?
Who or what inspires you?
Professionally, chefs that have the passion to master the craft, hone, and teach. No food network stars in other words. Personally, my family. They drive me crazy, and fuel me forward.
How do you take your coffee?
Black..is there any other way?
What food trend drives you batty?
Free. Anything free- gluten, fat, carb..just eat it!
In-N-Out or Five Guys?
In-N-Out, hands down.
Could you “beat” Bobby Flay?
Sure! Cage match in the walk in?
Do you prescribe to any kitchen superstitions?
Yes, but I’d be breaking it if I told you what they were.
What’s a childhood dish you loved that still sticks with you?
Lamb riblets braised with tomato and olives, every Easter.
Biggest cooking fear?
Not having enough, staff, mis en place, a dish, must be prepared.
What do you cook on your off days?
Mostly eggs, bbq, and polenta.
Go-to guilty pleasure food?
1:45 am egg McMuffin with cheese, any other time, artisan cheese, and cured meat.
If you ate some poorly prepared blowfish sashimi and passed, what person or thing would you like to come back as?
A bear..oh wait.
What is your catchphrase?
Make it good, repeat.