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When I met my wife 20 plus years ago, she was a vegetarian, so I was the closest thing to the devil that she had ever met.
I'm so known as a meat-chef, when I talk about Meatless Monday some people look at me like I've lost my mind. I'm like, look, I'm not saying beef and pork is bad, I love it and I eat it six days a week.
When it comes to cooking and eating, I always try to preach that life is about moderation. Even if I'm having beef for dinner, it's probably going to be a 3-4 ounce portion with heaps and heaps of vegetables.
If you salt a chicken the day before cooking, it starts to break down the cell structure of the meat and allows it to take on more flavor and actually helps it to stay more moist. Same goes for a steak, a pork chop. A lot of people brine; we preseason.
Go to the grocery store and buy better things. Buy quality, buy organic, buy natural, go to the farmers market. Immediately that's going to increase the quality of the food you make.
Recipes are important but only to a point. What's more important than recipes is how we think about food, and a good cookbook should open up a new way of doing just that.
On 'Chopped,' the time goes down a bit and there are several ingredients, usually one that makes no sense whatsoever with the rest of the ingredients. So it gets you out of your culinary comfort zone a little bit. Like we had octopus and cheese paired up with each other.
I was lucky enough to have great mentors both in the culinary world and in the world of chefs who became celebrities. Bobby Flay is one of my dearest friends and a tremendous mentor for me. Mario Batali is the same way. They began doing TV a little before me and they showed me the way.
I'm lucky that my restaurant partners are my wife Liz and Doug Petkovic. We opened our first restaurant over 15 years ago. And we didn't open up our second restaurant for almost ten years. So that gave us a good foundation of employees.
I love doing demonstrations. I think to be a great chef you have to be a great teacher. I love doing classes with people who love food and enjoy food, bringing them all around one table so to speak.
All I Want Is You
Being A Woman
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