What is American Cuisine?
“Take a boy from the Midwest,
Have him work in hash house to haute,
with Frenchmen, Italian, Japanese, East Philadelphians, Latinos,
other American kids and let him sweat for 15 years or so.
…now pop him into the oven of your wildest imaginations
and then cool with classical reality and history.
Chef most admired, why?
A man I worked with a long time ago named Tokio Suyehara. He knew the meaning of
‘Zen Cooking’ and lived it.
What kitchen tool do you wish you had?
What are your favorite flavor combinations?
Meat, Fat, Acid, Sweet and Starch
What was your first food job?
Bus boy at a Holiday Inn at age 14.
Second job, (cooking). A diner in Libertyville, Illinois called “The Fireside”
What is your most important kitchen rule?
Listen. And listen with our mouth too.
Who is the coolest chef you have worked with?
Favorite/most telling interview question?
Do you believe in work or fame?
Most memorable food moment?
Many. I love the scene in the poet James Dickey’s “Deliverance” when those that have survived the mayhem on the river recognize that sitting a table with family or friends is about as good as it gets in this life.
Where you want to go for culinary travel? Why?
To immerse myself in a country that has survived about everything imaginable
and made a food that is unconquerable.