A fun Q&A with some of the state’s up-and-coming chefs as well as culinary superstars.
Photography by Sara Edwards Neal
PATRICK BUCHANAN (Online Exclusive)
Executive Chef / YaYa’s Euro Bistro / Little Rock
Hometown: Wichita, Kansas.
Are you a formally trained chef or an on-the-job-trained cook? Formally trained, and I’ve had a lot of on-the-job training.
Where were you trained? The International Art Institute of Kansas City.
How many years have you worked in the food industry? Eight.
Who inspired you to become a chef/cook? My mom, she cooked dinner — from scratch — every night when I was growing up.
What was the first item or meal you prepared? French toast.
What is your favorite meal to prepare? Anything over a grill.
What is your favorite meal? Paella.
What is your favorite meal to eat out? Chili rellenos.
What is your favorite junk food? Flaming hot Cheetos or bomb pops.
What is your favorite type of cuisine ? Mexican, if I am going out, but if I’m cooking probably Asian.
What is your favorite utensil, gadget or piece of equipment? I’m not really into gadgets.
Where do you find new recipes? I am always reading cookbooks or magazines. Art Culinaire and Food and Wine are good ones.
For whom would you most like to prepare a meal? The entire Kansas City Chiefs football team.
Music or silence? Music; it lets people know the mood I am in.
Salty or sweet? Salty.
Bake or nah? I like baking and pastries.
Beer, wine or cocktail? Tequila, no salt or lime.
Do you cook at home? Very rarely.
What food or meal do you wish you’d invented? The Twinkie.
What food trends do you like or hate the most? I like the gluten-free trend; when a guest asks us to modify a ticket, it gives us a chance to be more creative.