1) Let’s assume that I don’t know you. In a few sentences, please share with my readers why the world can use more of you?
I don’t know if the world could use more of me… (Ha ha ha) But more so the people that work with me. I am really fortunate to have a team of passionate, committed individuals that have a relentless desire to continue to improve on a daily basis. They are focused on all elements of the dining experience. (Cuisine, hospitality, beverage, atmosphere, and the business side of things too.)
2) What is one food you love and could not live without?
Either shellfish or caviar.
3) What is your least favorite food that you wish would disappear from the face of the earth, and why?
It’s not a single food, but I really don’t like sloppy sandwiches. You know the sandwiches that spill their ingredients out all over you, the table, your clothes…
4) What is one thing you wish you had time to do but currently doesn’t fit into your busy schedule?
I love riding our ATVs with my sons. I wish I had more time to ride with them.
5) What is the weirdest things you have ever eaten and where were you?
I was touring the Middle East and we went to a good friends home in Beirut (Lebanon). He told us that he slaughtered his most prized goat that morning for an afternoon feast. I can honestly say that I have never had an experience like that before.
6) What is the one meal that reminds you most of your childhood/family?
My Mother’s Falafel, it had a way of lending comfort and warmth to the whole meal.
7) What would be the last meal you would want to eat/make if you only had 1 more day to live?
I would have Chef Ken Tominaga do an Omakase menu where he hand makes piece after piece of sushi and sashimi.
8) What is the hardest dish that you have ever had to make?/ Is there a dish that you have still never successfully completed?
Your goal as a chef is always to create dishes people remember years later. Lobster pot pie became my first signature dish when I opened Aqua. The pot pie is one I couldn’t articulate properly until we figured out how to do it tableside; the carving, the aromas, the reconstruction of the lobster—it helped me understand how impactful tableside service can be in a dining room.
9) Breakfast, lunch, & dinner: What would be your perfect 3-square meal?
Breakfast: A perfectly cooked omelet or French toast
Lunch: Oysters and Smoked Fish with a glass of Rose
Dinner: Sushi and Japanese Cuisine
10) Of course you want 2015 to be a good one. If all else fails, what would you want your one and biggest success to be?
That we continue to improve. (And 49ers making it to the Superbowl at home!!!)
11) What is your most prized possession?
The time I get to spend with my wife and boys. I truly cherish it.