WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BREAKFAST?
That’s such a hard one. I am an avid lover of breakfast and all things that accompany it. But have a very interesting relationship with Hollandaise. Ugh, so rich and creamy. I understand why it’s a mother sauce. So ill go with “what is eggs benedict” for 500 Alex (R.I.P)
IS THERE A CHILDHOOD COMFORT FOOD THAT YOU THINK ABOUT?
My mother had her staples when I was growing up. She did not cook that many things but what she made, she made very well. Her potpie was one of my absolute favorites.
WHICH TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE THAT YOU DON’T POSSESS?
I really wish that I could breakdance. There something about my feet that just compute with my brain on how to move. And I trip all over them.
WAS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DO BEFORE YOU STARTED COOKING?
Before I started cooking I wanted to be a vampire, an assassin, and an architect. When I realized I couldn’t be a vampire I moved to the assassin. When I realized what an assassin had to do, I moved to an architect. When I saw all the math I realized I just wanted to cook and eat.
OF ALL THE FRENCH PASTRIES, WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE TO MAKE?
I hate baking, I have no patience and I am terrible at it. But I love croissants.
IS THERE ONE FOOD THAT YOU’RE SECRETLY OBSESSED WITH HAVING AT HOME?
Hashbrowns, potatoes in general. Oh and popcorn. I’m obsessed with popcorn, It’s my dinner most of the time.
IS THERE A FOOD THAT YOU DISLIKE?
Melon, all of them. Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew. I am not a fan.
IF YOU COULD FIND OUT ANYONE’S SECRET RECIPE, WHOSE AND WHAT WOULD IT BE?
There isn’t a secret recipe that I want to know. I would rather just work with chefs and learn their techniques. That’s where the real magic comes from.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MEAL AND WHY?
When I was little my mother and I made shrimp scampi together. This was not something that my mother made so we were experiencing it for the first time together. I think it was the first time that both of us were trying a new recipe together and it was so much fun. We just laughed the entire time. Not to mention that the food was so good. It’s a memory that I will always treasure.
WHAT MENTORS HELPED YOU ALONG YOUR JOURNEY OF BECOMING A CHEF?
I haven’t really had a mentor. I’ve been to school and I’ve learned new techniques from different experiences. I did have one chef that I worked for that I felt challenged me more than anyone else. He actually left the restaurant we worked at to work with Thomas Keller. I was bummed but happy for him. My search for a mentor still continues.
THROUGHOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY, HAVE YOU NOTICED A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KITCHENS THAT ARE RUN BY MEN VS. KITCHENS THAT ARE RUN BY WOMEN? IF SO, WHAT WAS THIS DIFFERENCE, AND HOW DID IT IMPACT THE OVERALL ENVIRONMENT WHILST PREPARING FOOD?
I’ve actually only worked in kitchens that were run by men, except for my own. I try to make sure that my guys feel supported and team-oriented. We’re all equal, so if one of us fails we all fail. I don’t push my weight around, I don’t yell (unless they make me) We all have mutual respect for each other. I want them to continue to work for me because they genuinely want to, not because they just need 40 hours. I feel like I have created the culture.
IT IS REALLY SAD TO SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING GLOBALLY. YOUNG ASPIRING CHEFS ARE LOOKING TO THEIR HERO’S HOW TO TURN PAIN INTO CREATIVITY. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE ON HOW TO TURN THIS DIFFICULT TIME INTO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE?
The best advice that I can give during this time, is to use it. We are always such a faced paced, instant gratification type of generation. But we’ve actually been forced to slow down. Forced to sit and think about what’s next. Don’t waste this time, figure out what it is that inspires you, that motivates, that get you excited. Because I promise that there are other people that are motivated, inspired, and excited about the same thing. You just need to do it!
WHAT IS ONE POSITIVE AND ONE NEGATIVE EFFECT COVID-19 HAS HAD ON YOUR LOVE FOR MAKING FOOD?
One positive thing and negative thing that COVID has done for me is to contribute to me losing my job. I was pretty bummed at first, but with the time that I had on my hands, I was able to rediscover my love of food. I actually had time to read up about new techniques, try new recipes, open my eyes to more things. It was actually a blessing in disguise.
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN SPENDING YOUR TIME RECENTLY, HAVE YOU HAD TIME TO CREATE NEW RECIPES?
In this time I’ve actually started a Youtube channel GeeksandGrubs. And it’s me making food from my favorite movies, shows, and games. It’s really fun for me and I love it.
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