Archives for Interviews category

Interview with Chef Cory Bahr

Posted on Feb 12, 2013 under Archives, Chefs, Interviews | No Comment
Chef Cory Bahr

Chef Cory Bahr

Chef Cory Bahr learned to cook from his grandparents.  While growing up in Monroe, Louisiana, Bahr spent many hours in the kitchen helping with the family catering business.  He waited tables as a teen and eventually migrated into the kitchen.

Two local ladies who admired his cooking asked Bahr to run a restaurant they were planning to open in Monroe.  In 2007, at age 30, he was approached to open Monroe’s Restaurant Sage as executive chef.  In 2011, Bahr was crowned King of Louisiana Seafood, and fulfilled his ‘royal’ duties by acting as a national spokesman for the Louisiana Seafood Board’s Chef Council.  And in June 2012, just six months after opening his own hometown restaurant, Cotton, Cory Bahr remained cool as a cucumber on the Food Network’s Chopped! handily winning the cutthroat competition with his skill, speed, and ingenuity.  He has been named “Chef to Watch” by Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine.  Bahr was in town to host and cook for the annual “Only in Louisiana” brunch honoring Grammy nominees from Louisiana.  I sat down with the young chef to talk a bit about southern food, Louisiana culture and upcoming projects.


Interview with Chef Duff Goldman

Posted on Nov 30, 2012 under Chefs, Interviews | No Comment
Chef Duff Goldman at Charm Cake West/Cakemix

Chef Duff Goldman at Charm City Cakes West/Cakemix

Chef Duff Goldman opened Charm City Cakes in Baltimore in 2002.  His Food Network show “Ace of Cakes” ran for 10 seasons.  Chef Duff recently opened a west coast branch of Charm City Cakes here in Los Angeles as well as his new Cakemix workshop.  Cakemix allows guests to decorate their own cake and offers classes on cake decoration.  I sat down with Chef Duff to talk about Charm City Cakes West, the new Cakemix and his upcoming projects.


Interview with Chef Rick Bayless

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 under Archives, Chefs, Interviews | No Comment
Chef Rick Bayless

Chef Rick Bayless

I recently visited Chef Rick Bayless’s RED O restaurant for a quick demo and tasting for media  on margaritas and guacamole and to celebrate his new book, Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks.  I sat down and chatted with Chef Bayless about his philosophy on food, the emergence of Mexican cuisine in the US, and his latest projects.


Award-winning chef-restaurateur, cookbook author, and television personality Rick Bayless has done more than any other culinary star to introduce Americans to authentic Mexican cuisine and to change the image of Mexican food in America. Rick is fourth generation in an Oklahoma family of restaurateurs and grocers. From 1980 to 1986, after studying Spanish and Latin American Studies as an undergraduate, and doing doctoral work in Anthropological Linguistics at the University of Michigan, Rick lived in Mexico with his wife, Deann, writing his now-classic Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking From The Heart of Mexico (William Morrow, 1987).

In 1996, Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine (Scribner) won the IACP National Julia Child “Cookbook of the Year Award.”   At the 2001 James Beard Awards, Mexico–One Plate at a Time, (Scribner) companion to the first season of the Public Television series by the same name, was singled out as the “Best International Cookbook.”

In 1987, having moved to Chicago, Rick opened the hugely successful Frontera Grill, which specializes in contemporary regional Mexican cooking.  In 1988, Food & Wine magazine selected Rick as “Best New Chef of the Year,” and in 1991, he won a James Beard Award for “Best American Chef: Midwest.” In 1995, he won another James Beard Award for “National Chef of the Year” as well as an award for “Chef of the Year” from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). In 1998, the Beard Foundation honored Rick as “Humanitarian of the Year.” In 2002, Bon Appétit honored him with the “Cooking Teacher of the Year Award.”
On the heels of Frontera Grill’s success, Rick opened the Topolobampo in 1989. Adjacent to Frontera Grill, Tobolobampo is one of America’s only fine-dining Mexican restaurants.

In 1996, Rick began a prepared food line of salsas, chips, and grilling rubs under the Frontera Foods label. Frontera Foods went on to open Frontera Fresco—a food kiosk in the historic Marshall Fields (now Macy’s) building in 2005 in Chicago.

“Mexico—One Plate at a Time” is currently beginning its 9th season on PBS.

RED O, on Melrose Avenue, is the first Los Angeles restaurant by Rick, and his only outside of Chicago.  The menu features both authentic Mexican fare and lighter “California-style” dishes that are updated seasonally.

Chef Fabio Viviani Dishes on Bravo’s New Life After Top Chef Show

Posted on Sep 25, 2012 under Archives, Chefs, Interviews | No Comment
Chef Fabio Viviani

Chef Fabio Viviani

I’ve had the pleasure of cooking with and interviewing Chef Fabio Viviani numerous times over the past few years.  Chef Viviani is always charming and very very busy with new projects.  Viviani is everywhere – endorsing products, hosting Chow Ciao on Yahoo, cooking at his two restaurants, opening the new Siena Tavern in Chicago and conducting cooking demonstrations and interviews all over.  For those of you who haven’t caught any of the above, a brief background – originally from Florence, Viviani moved to the US, opened Cafe Firenze in Moorpark and appeared on reality TV show Top Chef on Bravo during its fifth season. He was one of the final four contestants when he was eliminated from the competition and was voted “Top Chef Fan Favorite” by viewers.  Viviani also appeared as a contestant on Top Chef: All Stars. He is also owner and chef at the Toluca Lake Firenze Osteria.

One of his latest projects is starring in Bravo Television’s new show, “Life After Top Chef,” (premiering Wednesday October 3 on Bravo) which follows Viviani and three other “Top Chef” alums – Richard Blais in Atlanta, Jen Carroll in Philadelphia, and Spike Mendelsohn in D.C.,   as they continue to heat things up, from opening their own restaurants to expanding franchises and establishing their brands.

I sat down with Fabio and caught up on all of his projects including “Life After Top Chef,” the upcoming opening of his new restaurant Siena Tavern and the “Top Chef” cruise in April 2013.