It's All in the Past: Food Memories
Food was just substance when I was growing up. Everybody always says there greatest influences in there culinary career were their mothers and grandmothers. Not me. My my mom was a terrible cook. We had round steak cooked to shoe leather consistency at least two nights a week. Shake and bake pork chops, hamburgers cooked in a cast iron skillet until they were black on the out side and grey in the middle. I grew up in Alabama, so I was a bit shelter in that regard until I got out on my own. We did however eat together every night. The since of a family dinner was instilled in me very early. I would say this was the biggest childhood influence as far as food goes.
I was always know as the "cookie monster" when I was a kid. I loved chocolate chip cookies. Still do! my deathbed meal would end with warm chocolate chip cookies and ice cold milk. My pastry sous chef actually puts it on here miss en plac list every once in a while.
That's a very hard question. That's like asking what's your favorite band... I think a few stick out.. The first time I got to cut down a whole lamb at mccradys, the first time I ate a raw oyster ( not till I was 21), the first time I ate ate the French laundry and Daniel...... I can however remember the single most delicious thing I have ever put in my mouth. I am sure like a lot of other people it was prepared by Grant achatz. Myself and Jared van camp had a 32 course meal when Grant was at trio. We were broke working at Tru and blackbird and spent every dime we had to go there. I remember biting into the "truffle explosion" and not being able to do anything but laugh out loud at how ridiculously amazing it was.
Q: Whether you still eat it today, or it's mostly a memory, is there a dish that most reminds you of childhood?
Chicken and dumplings... That was one dish my mom cooked well. It would take all day and I remember making the dumplings with her on the counter. I haven't made these since she passed away but I plan on teaching this to my so as soon as he wants to cook with his dad.
I always ate at school. My favorite was baked potato bar day
Q: Recall running down the street after the ice cream truck. What was your favorite treat from the ice cream truck?
I grew up in northern Alabama were there was no such thing as an ice cream truck.
I think the most romantic meali ever cooked was for my wife who was my new girlfriend at the time. I Cooke her a 6 course meal in her kitchen while she was moving into her new apartment. She sat in the floor the kitchen (since the was no furniture yet) and I served her straight from the oven using one plate and 2 jankety pots.
When I was 18 or 19 I decided to cook dinner for my at the time girlfriend. That was about the time I decided I really wanted to be a chef and was the lead line cook at an Italian restaurant and thought I was a badass. My girlfriend bought me a wok and i had her over to make a romantic meal using the gift she just gave me. I tried to make Chinese stir fry and used soy sauce like it was chicken stock. I added almost a full bottle of soy sauce to a wok full of food. I served it to her and she spit it back out because it was so salty. It was terrible. We ended up ordering pizza.