Burning Questions

The eliminated chef reveals what surprised him most about the competition.

Jul 8, 2009

Bravotv.com: The Quickfire: How hard was it to cook with one hand tied behind your back?
Working with one hand behind my back was not hard. My father was born with just one arm and I saw him do everything he wanted including paint our whole house several times.  It was, however, more cumbersome and slower. That's where I ran into trouble.

Bravotv.com: Do you agree that cooking an egg is the true sign of a chef’s ability?
Cooking an egg is not the true test of a chef's ability in that it doesn't show leadership, breadth, of knowledge or a sense of balance. It can be a microcosm of speed, timing, sensitivity, and taste. That is what Escoffier meant.

Bravotv.com: What was the inspiration for your egg dish?
The inspiration for my egg dish was a dish I did many years ago in New York in the winter when all the produce was lousy.  But the Italian delis were great. It was, and is, fresh pasta, fresh egg yolks, fresh mascarpone and sweet extra virgin olive oil, properly seasoned. I wish I had been able to complete it, but the clock rules.

Bravotv.com: Onto Elimination, do you like magic?
I love magic. As a confirmed agnostic-borderline atheist I love harmless talented frauds. I love trying to figure out how they do it, though I never can.

Bravotv.com: How did you interpret the card you pulled into the dish?
It didn't matter what word we picked out. With this challenge the judges, and the show, were looking for the unexpected. That is what we tried to do.

Bravotv.com: Are you an NPH fan?
I like Neil Patrick Harris. I have met him a number of times as a client at Campanile, my restaurant. He is enthusiastic about food and wine and has a discerning palate. I have not seen much of his work as an actor. I love the premise of How I Met Your Mother and I'm sure he does a great job.