1. Where were you born? I'm a native New Yorker, Manhattan!
2. What made you want to become a chef? When I was younger, I spent a lot of time travelling in Europe, South America & Asia. Living abroad, I was exposed to a great deal of different cuisines.
3. Who inspires you? I am often inspired by the cooks I work with, as everyone has a different background, and something to contribute. I think in NYC, inspiration is everywhere; you just have to be looking for it.
4. Where do you go food shopping? Half of my shopping is split between my small town neighborhood grocery store, Decicco’s, as I prefer to keep our money in the community where we live. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Freshdirect gets the other half of our business, because both my wife and I both work, and the ideal situation is not always realistic
5. What are the top 5 staples in your pantry? Cajun Spice, Coriander Seeds, Lentils, Dried Chilis, Oren’s Coffee. I know, kind of boring.
6. What is your favorite dish you have created over the course of your career? I don’t have one. It’s more about the journey for me, not the end result. I don’t think I have come up with my favorite dish yet. However, my brisket chili is pretty fierce.
7. If you were to have a fabulous dinner with 3 people tonight living or deceased, who would they be? That’s easy, my wife and two daughters. Because I eat the vast majority of my meals at work, I really enjoy the meals with the family. But if I were able to have a meal with Thomas Keller - that would be incredible.
8. What is your favorite food to serve at home? Bar B Que. I love it, and I love cooking outside.
9. What is your number one rule in the kitchen? A clean kitchen is a happy kitchen.
10. What would you choose to be your last meal? Three slices of DiFara's pizza. The best.