Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking. I feel it is very important to utilize everything and that nothing gets wasted in the cooking process. When I was growing up, my dad would raise one pig or calf for his yearly supply of meat. Watching that process makes you more conscious.
What's your least favorite food? Collard greens and fiddlehead ferns
What is the best thing you've made so far this year? Braised fresh cranberry beans with bacon, tomato and oregano. Super simple and just really delicious.
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster. When I first started cooking I wanted to make cinnamon raisin bread. I needed 5 loaf pans and I only had 2. Needless to say, I had two ugly monster loaves of bread that outgrew the pan.
What is your idea of comfort food? Barbeque from The Salt Lick in Driftwood, Texas or a great hamburger and an ice cold beer.
What made you decide to become a chef? Making barbeque with my dad and my mom's great cooking. Mainly, I had a lot of fun cooking in a kitchen and I knew that i wanted to do something creative for a living.
What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie? In Ratatouille when Remy makes ratatouille for the critic.
If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be? Frank Black (frontman for the Pixies). I've been listening to his music forever and it still is one of my favorites.
If someone were to cook for you, what would be your ideal meal? Anything my wife makes is always delicious.
The whiskey bar at Char No. 4 (photo courtesy of charno4.com)