TELL US ABOUT YOUR EARLIEST COOKING MEMORY.
I’m not really sure which cooking memory actually comes first, however my earliest inspirational memory is of my grandfather cooking Chinese food in an old battered metal wok. You need to keep in mind that my grandfather was of English decent and a tried-and-true New Englander his entire life. I don’t think anyone else in the family quite understood why he decided to try and cook Chinese food one day. I remember being fascinated, and thrilled by the experience of flavors until then completely unfamiliar to me. He was very experimental, a trait I believe I inherited from him. By the way, I still have and use the wok.
HOW HAS YOUR COOKING STYLE EVOLVED SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER?
I’ve been in restaurant and hotel kitchens since I was 15 and that makes 27 years in total now. My cooking style has evolved constantly during that period. When I first started, I was focused on trying new ingredients. While I still uncover new ones, I’m far more focused on finding new ways to make familiar ingredients exciting. In the past five years, I ‘ve become more focused on sustainable food sources. I see this as more than a change in style, it is an ethically required commitment.
WHICH OF TODAY’S CULINARY TRENDS DO YOU THINK HAVE STAYING POWER?
Trends come and go. After awhile you start to see the cycle of re-birth. Bistro style food has been around for many years and we are now seeing yet another version with the popularity of the gastro-pub. Comfort food with a twist is here to stay.
WHAT IS THE MOST GRATIFYING FEEDBACK FROM A DINER WHO HAS JUST ENJOYED ONE OF YOUR MEALS?
Letters are wonderful, phone calls are nice and compliments are always appreciated. Seeing someone return and order the same dish over and over again is the greatest feedback of all. I make a cucumber soup that is based on a bright green broth and garnished with multiple incarnations of cucumber, a jalapeno-sapote sorbet, grilled hearts of palm and citrus tapioca pearls. There is a couple who dinest at our restaurant almost every weekend they are in town – just to order this dish.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE DISH TO COOK WHEN YOU’RE RELAXING AT HOME?
This is the toughest question to answer because there are so many things I love to cook. Most recently, I’ve been working my way through a great book of traditional Vietnamese recipes the authors collected during an extended trip through the Vietnamese countryside. More traditionally, I can never quite cook enough home made pasta, gnocchi and pizza, foods my 3-year old has a greater affinity for than some of the spicy dishes you find in Vietnam!
Qatar Airways is expanding this year, adding eight new destinations to its network. The list includes:
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
Hotel Indigo recently launched its Clues to the Neighborhood initiative, a fun way for travelers to discover experiences in property neighborhoods. Clues to the Neighborhood uses curated artifacts to artfully present travelers with a new look at a locale, with the hope of leading them to local museums, shops, music venues, restaurants and bars.
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Travelers in Las Vegas can enjoy a new dining concept at Wynn Las Vegas starting March 19. A new restaurant, Elio, will debut, offering an energetic environment and thoughtful menu items reflecting Mexico’s rich culinary traditions. Small plates focus on seafood and produce, while entrees are shareable. A lounge offers agave-based spirits.
ForwardKeys.com found an increase of 4.5 percent in 2019 was significantly slower than the 6 percent growth in 2018 and the average over the last decade of 6.8 percent per year. The increase last year was less than expected, but projections for quarter one of 2020 is more optimistic. Bookings are expected to grow 8.3 percent when compared to the same period in 2019.
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Château Élan Winery & Resort reopened in Braselton, Georgia, following a $25 million comprehensive renovation. The first major refurbishment since the resort’s inception in the mid-1980s pays homage to the estate's 16th-century charm, while taking the property into the future. Now, the resort offers 251 brand-new guestrooms and 24 suites, four new food and beverage venues, an immersive spa, pool terrace and new lobby. The winery likewise received a facelift.