Have you always wanted to ask your favorite chef what they love to eat when they’re at home? Or perhaps what they think the next big food or dining trend will be? Look no further than this exclusive series of chef interviews by JustLuxe. So read on, as we bring you these answers and more — direct from the culinary masters themselves. Some of the most famous names in the industry, including legendary Michelin-starred chefs, have divulged exciting insider information and personal stories of their journey to the top just for our readers.
Restaurant: Todd English Enterprises is comprised of over a dozen restaurants including Olives, Bonfire, BlueZoo, Figs Locations: New York, Las Vegas, Boston, Florida and Cunard Ships Type of Cuisine: International including Italian, French , Fusion and Contemporary American Accolades: Four-time James Beard Award Winner, Culinary Award of Excellence, Robert Mondavi 1994, America's Best New Chefs, Food & Wine Magazine
JustLuxe: At what point in your life did you decide to become a chef? What influenced you to do so?
Todd: I grew up with a family of great cooks and I was always hanging out in the kitchen as a kid with my mother and grandmother, but I remember being in high school in Home-Economics class and being asked to bake a cake from a box… I refused and made the whole thing from scratch instead. I remember thinking…I’m pretty good at this cooking thing.. and I like doing it!
JustLuxe: If you could give a word of advice to an aspiring chef, what would you say?
Todd: Study your craft. Uncover everything you can. Be fearless. You have to continue to experiment in order to grow and to discover what you’re about and what your beliefs are, and then you’ve got to embrace that, and stay true to that always. Never give that up.
JustLuxe: Where do you get inspiration for the design of your dishes and plating?
Todd: Inspiration is everywhere but you have to open up your senses to it. It comes from being aware of my surroundings and what’s around me at any given time. Creativity is sometimes painful, but you have to push through it and then great things can happen!
JustLuxe: What do you predict as the next big trend in cooking and/or the restaurant industry?
Todd: Theatrical Dining. Also Ethnic Spices
JustLuxe: Which season do you look forward to the most for its ingredients?
JustLuxe: What places or cities in the world have influenced your cooking the most?
Todd: Italy, and everywhere the Mediterranean touches, also Southeast Asia.
JustLuxe: In your opinion, what innovation has recently influenced the restaurant industry in a significant way?
Todd: Turbo Cooking and Emersion Cooking because it produces a more consistent and well produced item out of the kitchen.
JustLuxe: What would you say is the current climate of business in the restaurant industry?
Todd: It’s strong, and getting stronger again. I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to the 2007 days again, people just don’t eat that way anymore, and the dining scene has changed, but I think it’s a good thing. The customers are so much more aware and knowledgeable of food now and people go out to eat for different reasons… especially in New York City where everyone lives to eat!
JustLuxe: What is your favorite dish to prepare at home as opposed to the plate you enjoy preparing in the kitchen?
Todd: My simple Homemade Tomato Sauce! I’ve made it thousands of times and it always does the trick
JustLuxe: Besides gastronomy, what other passions do you have?
Todd: Sports, Music, Travel, Arts and of course Family! My three kids are the three best recipes I’ve ever made!
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