We thought it would be a cool idea to give you all a little time inside our brains to see where our opinions and preferences about food come from. We each came up with questions, we hope you enjoy the results! While we’re doing this, why don’t you guys get involved, either copy and paste these questions into a comment and answer them, or you can send us some questions and we’ll put up a post with our answers. Have fun!
1. What was the first experience you can remember that made you fall in love with food?
I’m not sure how well I remember this, or my exact age, but I do remember it was at my grandmothers house. We call her Nana. I’m thinking I was about 8 years old at the time, and I was spending the weekend over at her house. She was making a big family dinner and I don’t remember why but I asked to help. So she put an apron on me and started showing me how to chop. I think I might have cut myself badly. She showed me how to season the food and make it taste good. It was our traditional Spanish meal of Milanese steak, rice, black beans, salad, Cuban bread, and sweet plantains. This is my first memory of really getting into the thick of it.
2. Top five restaurants you’ve been to, GO!
- Joel Robuchon
- Victoria & Alberts
- Au Pied du Cochon (Montreal),
It’s hard to pinpoint just five, only 1 and 2 will be on there forever.
3. You’re going to die tomorrow, what’s your last meal?
I’ve answered this many time throughout the year and it changes every time. Foie Gras and apple pancake, and crispy pork belly for starters. Twenty-eight oz veal chop saltimbocca with lobster and truffle risotto. For dessert, lemon basil cheesecake. I don’t know I love too many things!
4. Favorite food to cook at home?
It’s because my wife and I can always agree on it, and it takes one second to prepare, steak. If I have all day, it’s probably cassoulet.
5. Top 3 favorite culinary cultures and the best places to go for each.
- French: Joel Robuchon – Las Vegas, NV
- Dim Sum: Maison Kam Fung – Montreal, QC (Recently knocked Mings Bistro off its pedestal)
- Gastropub: Abattoir – Atlanta, GA
6. Your most outrageous food experience ever.
There have been many over the years. I won’t mention one specifically, but let’s just say that when I eat with any combination of the following people, Kristen, Jimmy, Zobel, my brother, Jake, or Jep, there’s an 84% chance it will be outrageously good.
1. Worst meal you’ve ever had.
This disaster happened way back when I was about 11 or so. We went over to the house of some friends of ours, and the wife was planning an Italian meal that evening. Fresh pesto and garlic bread was on the menu. At that age I was really beginning to become an Italian aficionado. However, she apparently couldn’t tell the difference between basil and cilantro and she ended up using nothing but the latter in the sauce. Now cilantro isn’t bad in moderation, but as a pesto?! If that wasn’t bad enough, she didn’t salt her pasta water, stir the pasta during cooking, or allow it to cook thoroughly leaving us with a stiff, tasteless, fused clump of undercooked noodles covered in a cilantro purée. At least the garlic bread was edible.
2. Best meal under $10.
The Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage with Truffle Aioli, Foie Gras Mousse and Sel Gris from Hot Doug’s in Chicago, Il. I wanted to add an order of duck fat fries but that puts it over the top as this sausage costs $9.00 by itself!
3. Top 5 places to eat in your town.
Since my town is tiny, I’m extending this to the surrounding towns as well since I frequent them often.
- The Kitchen Table – Like having the French Laundry in your backyard
- 158 Main St. – Epic breakfasts
- Vermont Sandwich Company – The Patriot, ‘nuf said
- Ray’s Seafood Market – Best Lobster Roll I’ve ever had
- Eastern Dragon – Quality Asian fare at a fair price
4. Favorite chef who you would want to cook a private dinner for you and guests.
I’ll do three, Joel Robuchon, Nobu Matsuhisa, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. I’m thinking one dinner each day for three days with those guys would be adequate.
5. Restaurant, bakery, or purveyor you wish were closer to home.
I can think of about 50 different places I’d like to be around the corner, but if I had to choose one…it’s got to be Nobu.
6. Favorite food 10 years ago.
Favorite food when I was 15 was Italian, the restaurant was Enzo’s on the Lake, the dish was Penne alla Vodka (best I’ve ever had), with sides of grilled eggplant, roasted sweet peppers, and fresh shaved Parmesan.