A fun Q&A with some of the state’s up-and-coming chefs as well as culinary superstars.
Photography by Janet Warlick
owner/executive chef / Maddie’s Place / Little Rock
Hometown: Little Rock.
Are you a formally trained chef or an on-the-job-trained cook? Both. I graduated culinary school, but as any good chef “you have to cut your teeth” on the line.
Where were you trained? Culinary Institute of America in New York.
How many years have you worked in the food industry? 24 years.
What or who inspired you to become a chef/cook? Being a picky eater with my creativity gave me my start.
What was the first item or meal you prepared? Homemade chocolate chip cookies and pizza.
What is your favorite meal to prepare? Barbecue on the back deck with friends and family.
What is your favorite meal? Taco night with the family.
What is your favorite meal to eat out? Currently, it’s cannelloni at Bruno’s Little Italy.
What is your favorite junk food? I am a sucker for any flavor of Doritos.
What is your favorite type of cuisine? Chinese and Italian are my two favorites.
What is your favorite utensil, gadget or piece of equipment? A Japanese mandolin.
Where do you find new recipes? Usually I will see a dish on a menu or TV and adapt it to fit into Maddie’s Place profile.
For whom would you most like to prepare a meal? My brother-in-law Anthony, who passed away while we were in New Orleans and Las Vegas. I wish he could have been a part of all that we have created since moving back home to Arkansas.
Music or silence? Music.
Salty or sweet? Salty.
Bake or nah? Nah.
Beer, wine or cocktail? Bourbon and water in the fall, and vodka and tonic with lime in the summer. And a good glass of wine paired with the food always a plus!
Do you cook at home? Yes.
What food or meal do you wish you’d invented? Tex Mex, because I love it and it’s so easy and good.
What food trends do you like or hate the most? I’m not big on trends; I strive to consistently serve great food without barriers.