What's the best culinary tip you have for a home cook? Taste your food a lot. Trust yourself. You know what you like. Trust yourself more than the recipe.
What was your proudest moment as a chef? When I opened my restaurant. It took almost a year and a lot of hard work. Cooking for my guests for the first time was really lovely.
And the most satisfying moment? I designed the menu for my sister's wedding. They wouldn't let me actually cook, because they wanted me to be a guest, but I worked closely with the chef, and we made a wonderful, crazy meal. She and her husband aren't extraordinarily adventurous diners. So we made things like tiny BLTs and mac and cheese -- exactly what they'd want to eat at home, but we elevated it to a level where people were really impressed, and we accomplished something special for her.
What's your take on national trends? It seems like the burger joint has exploded. Everybody's opening a gourmet cheeseburger place. That's really cool, but at the same time I feel we need to find the next thing. Cupcakes might be over, though I've heard the doughnut is the new cupcake.