The last person I was nervous to cook for was my dad. He is an amazing cook and is extremely passionate about food. As a kid, I was able to experience the best cuisine through traveling with my family as well as eating my dad’s food. He really helped shape my palate and has been an inspiration to my career. I wanted to make sure to make him proud when he ate at Bestia for the first time.
Kris Morningstar (Terrine)
Alain Passard. We were cooking his food together and were grilling fish. He doesn’t speak English and my French is limited to swear words and food terms. He was placing turbot filets on an unoiled dry grill and not seasoning the fish, and I was responsible for cooking the turbot in the way he had shown, which was completely foreign to me. It went against everything I have been taught, but who is going to question one of the best chefs in France, with a three Michelin star restaurant? The results appeared to be the same as his, the fish was tearing as it came off the grill as his had. It felt as though I had never cooked before—it was a very nervous and confused feeling.
Zach Pollack (Alimento)
Vinny Dotolo and Frank Warren Anderson (opening chef of Son of a Gun) came in a couple weeks ago and ordered our new fried chicken sandwich. Since SoaG’s version is the delicious benchmark against which I judge all other chicken sandwiches, mine included, it was pretty daunting–albeit exciting–to prepare one for those guys.
Curtis Stone (Maude)
I just had the pleasure of cooking for Marco Pierre White. He was my boss and mentor for some 8 years and he is an absolute perfectionist – so of course I was a little intimidated cooking for such a master! But it was so good to see him and I think he liked everything I did.
First off, I really believe in treating everyone the same—that is, feeding everyone as if they’re the most important food critic in the world. That said, Ryan Gosling came in the other night and all the gals got super giddy and I think it rubbed off onto me a little. He gave me butterflies. I’ll admit it.