A fun Q&A with some of the state’s up-and-coming chefs as well as culinary superstars.
Photography by Cindy Momchilov
chef/co-owner at Trio’s
Hometown: Little Rock, Arkansas.
Are you a formally trained chef or an on-the-job-trained cook? I’m on-the-job and life-in-the-hospitality-biz trained.
Where were you trained? The kitchen of the Hotel Sam Peck.
How many years have you worked in the food industry? 30.
What or who inspired you to become a chef/cook? My family and watching Julia Child on PBS.
What was the first item or meal you prepared? Chocolate mousse cake with Faye Pfeifer.
What is your favorite meal to prepare? Anything with bold flavors and real Mexican food.
What is your favorite meal? Real Mexican — any combination.
What is your favorite meal to eat out? Thai cuisine at KBird and Mexican at El Palenque, in Little Rock.
What is your favorite junk food? Any kind of cookie, chocolate in any form and Peanut M&Ms.
What is your favorite type of cuisine? Authentic Mexican.
What is your favorite utensil, gadget or piece of equipment? A cast iron skillet.
Where do you find new recipes? Ideas for new recipes? Watching the Food Network, traveling, industry publications, the Internet, cookbooks — everywhere!
For whom would you most like to prepare a meal? Eddie Vedder.
Music or silence? Music.
Salty or sweet? Combination — both are so good! For example: salted caramel.
Bake or nah? BAKE!
Beer, wine or cocktail? Cocktail! Agave Fresca: good tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, at least two. I love wine, too. I dislike beer.
Do you cook at home? Yes, especially on snow days and holidays.
What food or meal do you wish you’d invented? Cheese dip.
What food trends do you like or hate the most? I like, no LOVE, food trucks. I dislike microwaved food, but I’m not opposed to microwaves … go figure. Now, a microwaved baked potato is an exception; it’s quick and cheap — just add some cottage cheese.