On March 4, longtime LA Weekly restaurant critic Jonathan Gold gathered about 50 of his favorite chefs at the Petersen Automotive Museum for Gold Standard 2012, a flavorful sendoff before he moved across town to the LA Times. At the event, we asked participating chefs a series questions, including Is there anything you don’t enjoy eating? Read their responses.
I’m not a big fan of fresh goat cheese, for some reason. Other than that, I’ll pretty much eat anything.
I don’t like black olives, the canned black olives. That’s it.
Ian Gresik (Drago Centro)
There’s not a lot that I don’t enjoy eating. There are a few very adventurous Asian dishes that I’m still acquiring a taste for…I don’t know the names of some of them, but when Evan [Gotanda] takes me out in Chinatown, after a few drinks, there are a few dishes that come across. I don’t know if it’s just me at that hour, that I can’t stomach. I don’t know what it is, but some of those are a little abrasive for me.
David LeFevre (M.B. Post)
No, I don’t think there are any bad ingredients, I just think there are bad chefs with good ingredients. It’s like there are no bad questions, there are just good questions asked by stupid people. I will say that there’s nothing I’m not eating, I’m just finding myself drawn towards really simple ingredients executed well. I’m finding that restaurants I’m going to are following that. I’m not that interested in molecular gastronomy so much, just because I’m finding it hard enough to cook a chicken properly. You know what I mean? And just taking really great produce. The thing that I’m focusing on the most is showing people that, “Hey, this is an incredible ingredient, and I want to highlight this incredible ingredient,” instead of saying, “I’m this great chef, look at how great a chef I am.” In order to be a great chef, you need to be able to take a great product and make sure you’re paying homage to that before you try to manipulate it and show what great technique you have.
Gary Menes (Le Comptoir LA)
No. Well, I don’t enjoy eating food that has not been prepared properly. I’d say pork belly that’s tough, because you can always introduce an item to someone that they can have a phobia from or just probably think they don’t like it, and then prepare it in a very honest and true way, with the best expression you can offer, it will come out wonderfully. So there is probably nothing that I don’t like, if it’s done right.
I enjoy eating everything, but I’m not that person that enjoys eating all that decadent, crazy stuff all the time. I don’t need like foie gras and uni and all that kind of stuff to impress me. I generally do not crave that kind of stuff. I’ll say that much.
Bryant Ng (The Spice Table)
I don’t enjoy raw celery. There’s a flavor to it that I don’t enjoy. I don’t mind cooked celery. I love celery root, but raw celery doesn’t do it for me.
Christian Page (Short Order)
Anything that’s not prepared well…I love it all, baby. I love it all. If it’s done right, I’ll eat anything.
Jimmy Shaw (Loteria Grill)
I’m not a fan of okra. You know, it’s funny because I love things like nopalitos that have that mucus-y texture, but there’s something about okra. It’s like eating hair. I don’t like it…It never did it for me.