Q: Time to crack open the ol' 1876 meats encyclopedia. Vintage cookbooks: ever use them for restaurant recipe inspiration?
Of course. I think more than exact recipes for me it's more about getting general inspiration from the kinds of books.
Q: When it comes to cookbooks, which ones hold a special place in your culinary heart? List your three favorite cookbooks.
The French laundry cookbook changed my life. That book really rocked my world. I still go back to it year after year and just loom at the pictures. That guys technique is just bad ass!! The new eleven Madison park is awesome. And I'm a bit bias as I was around during that time but the Morimoto boom is a great read.
Joe beef. It came in the mail a few weeks ago.
Q: Perhaps you're inspired by mom's old recipes, culinary school lessons, chef comrades nearby. What have been the biggest influences on your cuisine?
Amazing cooks I have worked with. I have learned so much from fellow cooks when I was coming up. People like Eric Rollings that kicked my ass on turning vegetables really helped me develop.
There is a long list of chefs I would like to meet but I think Michel Richard would be a funny afternoon beer buddy
Everything inspires me. My brain is always going back to how what is happening or what is on the screen can relate to my cooking.
Q: Ali is to boxers as "X" is to chefs. Fill in the blank. In your mind, who's one of the most supreme cooking legends?
The product. I love just looking through the cooler for inspiration. Or going to the market to see what's available. Beautiful ingredients are a chefs best inspiration. From the colors to the textures everything about a piece of produce or protein can get you going on 1000 different dish ideas.
farm visits are the ultimate for a menu muse. . From the conversations you have with the farmers to what you eat while you are there It all gets the creative juices flowing. Every time I go to a farm I come back with a whole new menu written in my head.