Profession: Professor of Gastronomy at The Culinary Institute of America
Interests: Graduate research includes - dining trends and major influences in America from 1960 - to present day; Asian food and spirits with a concentration on Japan and Korea; Scuba diving
Ideal secret ingredient: Saffron. It adds an incredible flavor and color to other foods and is delicate, expensive and does not receive the recognition and respect it deserves (outside of Spanish cuisine). Also, it's a fun word to say.
Culinary inspirations: Escoffier: Set the standards that all should strive to emulate in all aspects of the food and hospitality world; Julia Child: Made food and cooking fun for the general public and changed American dining forever.
Favorite restaurant: How can one choose? There are so many great ones and new ones are always rising to the occasion.
Favorite food: Asian for the most part. Flavor meets art; what more could you want? Japanese, Korean and specialty Chinese dishes.
Food you won't go near: There's nothing I won't eat. I'm an omnivore.
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: Snakes blood cocktail (they were alive when bled into the drink).
Favorite food destination: NYC, all cuisines, at all levels, all the time
Alternative dream job: I have the best job in the world eating, making and teaching about food at the top culinary school in the world. Sounds like a dream to me.