When did you start cooking? Who got you started in this art?
When I was 8. I would say my Grandmother.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in food?
2002 I think.
Is there a website or blog where we can see something about you and your cooking?
What culinary training have you received? Where have you learned more, in class or by experimenting?
I attended the California Culinary Academy. While attending the California Culinary Academy I did a stagiaire at Chez Panisse on Saturdays. The most I learned was at Cafe Atlantico working for Jose Andres. My chef, Katsuya Fukushima.....taught me everything I know.
How and where did you get your first job as a professional cook?
I got my first job by writing Chef Jose Andres and telling him I wanted to cook for his company. He started me at Jaleo on the salad station.
How would you define your style?
I love using fresh food....my style is fun and playful, simple and creative.
Do you select and buy the ingredients yourself? Where?
Right now yes I buy the ingredients because I decided to be a personal chef. Being in Oklahoma right now farmer's markets are still evolving so I do most of my shopping at the local grocery store. I don't do enough volume to use a purveyor.
What is your favorite spice to cook with and why?
I don't have a favorite.
What is your signature dish or your favorite recipe?
I think my favorite thing to make....for myself to eat anyway is mashed potatoes.
What is your favorite cooking gadget?
Who have been the biggest inspirations in your career?
Katsuya Fukushima and Ruben Garcia.
Do you have an funny kitchen incident to share with us?
Luckily no one saw but my pants split up the butt one day.
If you were stranded on a deserted island for one year, what dish would ask to eat after your rescue?
Hamburger and french fries.
If any chef in the world could prepare a meal for you, who would it be?
Men versus women: do they cook differently?
No. Each individual cooks differently.
Is there something you hate to see when you go to a restaurant as a customer?
When the waitstaff does not know about the dishes they are selling.
Do you sometimes find yourself eating junk-food?
YES!!! I still love junk food. Burgers and fries are my favorite.
Who cooks in your home?
Tell us about your favorite wines and other drinks to accompany food.
I'm from Oklahoma so I just like coke tea or water. I'm more about the food than the wine. I like wine by itself.
What tendencies do you see coming on strong?
To increase my knowledge.
What do you think about molecular gastronomy in terms of introducing chemical elements into dish preparation?
I worked for Jose Andres who worked for Ferran Adria. Cafe Atlantico was in the same restaurant as The Minibar. I saw it everyday. I love it and am glad I could be around it. I may not have appreciated it while I was there but I could kick myself for not taking more advantage of it.
What new techniques are you interested in learning
I still have a lot to learn. Many techniques to perfect.
What are some of your professional goals for the future?
To open Oklahoma up to some new and different things in food.
What advice would you give to someone in high school who would like to pursue a culinary career?
Make sure you are ready to give up normal hours, social life and a dream of making a lot of money like the chefs you see on tv.
What would you say to a novice in the kitchen to help them get over their fear of cooking?
It's not rocket science and it's just food.
Oklahoma City USA