Bravotv.com: You said you weren't too familiar with hot dogs, but were with sausage -- did you get to try hot dogs in New York? What did you think?
Oh yes, i am a big hot dog "aficionado." You think that in the few days off that we had in New York i had more or less 50 of them. It's the only bad behavior that i have food-wise, and yes i had never made one so ... that was a challange for me, but i know how make killer sausage so, I was not worried.
Bravotv.com: Moving on to the Elimination, you've said how much you respect Tom -- what was it like cooking in his kitchen and having him expedite?
Colicchio for me is a model to follow, even if probably beside his new restaurant Tom Tuesday, he is not cooking so much anymore. He is still a person that built an empire out of his passion, and he did it in New York. It is a model, not just for me but for every person in this businness. He said once that you can either choose to be a big fish in a small pond, or try to make it in New York. I agree with him -- for now I am a very good fish in a small pond (Moorpark is a small town ) but trust me, New York is in line for me. I dont have the finance now to open a restaurant there, but after 18 years of busting my ass off always with the same passion and consistency for 12 plus hours a day, the idea of working there does not scare me at all. Different from most of the big fish in big pond like you have in NY, I did not grow up under the influence of big name chefs. Every single write-up, every single award that I got is just because of what I've done not because where I was working. It is much easier be one of the youngest best chefs in this country if you've been working for Colicchio, or Keller or Batali or some other guru of the restaurant business. They have the media; you are a very good chef and you are already there. Nobody give a rat's ass to come out in Moorpark and check some of us out. There are many young talents in the countryside that are better than most of the chefs in New York, but for the nature of this businness they will always be very good small fish, because the media attention and the magazines that count prefer have most of their dinner in the big pond. And yes, it was a true honor for me have him expedite my food.