Where do you find inspiration for your cooking and your art?
“I’m definitely inspired by travel. Eating street food or going to the night markets in places like Cuba, Thailand, and Mexico are experiences I will never forget. If I think of a dish or create new art, it might be inspired by how I’m feeling or a memory, but I always find a way to put my own spin on it. I also get a lot of inspiration from social media, magazines, and books. I don’t necessarily have a favorite chef or a favorite artist, but I follow a lot of different people and genres.”
Are there any similarities between your cooking and your art?
“I think about choosing the colors for a piece [of art] and ingredients [for a dish] in the same way. I consider the flavors of the ingredients, but I also ask myself how they are going to look on the plate with everything else. Sometimes I go for a monochromatic dish and other times I create something that is bright and colorful.”
Who are your dream dinner companions?
“My ideal dining experience would be with close friends or family.”
Would you prefer to cook or let someone else take the reins and just dine?
“Both! I like cooking and I like what food does for people. I cooked for my wedding, which was about 150 people. On the day of our wedding, I had a sous chef and another cook to help her out, but everything was prepped and all they had to do was execute. Even when we have parties at our house, everyone is always in the kitchen. We have a 13-foot island in the kitchen and there are always people around it.”
Does your wife ever make special requests?
“Her only request at our wedding was to have a big cheese display. Once, however, she did ask me to make roasted duck with a beurre blanc sauce for dinner. I asked her if she read a recipe in a magazine, but she said she had just thought of it. It was the most random thing to come out of her mouth! I had to go to four different stores to find duck and when she got home from work I don’t think she actually expected me to have pulled it off. On an average day, however, being married to a chef isn’t what most people imagine. My wife isn’t having duck for dinner every night because I’m usually working. She still orders Blue Apron or we’ll have a cheat night at In-N-Out.”