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: Gordon Ramsay at The London
Location: New York Type of Cuisine: Contemporary French Accolades: Named 2010 Rising Star NYC, Hotel Chef category
JustLuxe: At what point in your life did you decide to become a chef? What influenced you to do so?
Markus: Culinary has always been my passion. In a very early stage I was able to experience the hospitality industry first hand at my family’s hotel. I knew right away I wanted to be in this field. I love to produce outstanding dishes and create an experience for my guests.
JustLuxe: If you could give a word of advice to an aspiring Markus, what would you say?
Markus: Learn and Listen to everything, do your best without compromise but with a full commitment to quality and perfect execution. When you commit your mind to execute a luxury experience for your guests, then everything is possible.
JustLuxe: Where do you get inspiration for the design of your dishes and plating?
Markus: I am inspired to create and design plates with my own signature and am always working on perfecting my craft. I constantly think about different ways to explore flavors and presentation. My inspiration and creativity is mostly generated with the quality of ingredients - I carefully select, and taste them first hand.
I go to the green market, select seasonal ingredients and take advantage of the best flavors nature can offer. I can’t wait to get into the kitchen and to put my thoughts onto the plate.
JustLuxe: What do you predict as the next big trend in cooking and/or the restaurant industry?
Markus: Back to the roots is certainly the way to go. Many Chefs, including myself agreed that food from the past become the new food, since our generation doesn’t know how this food actually tastes. We adjust the flavor, get a better quality of ingredients and wider selection. The classic and tested culinary techniques remain what a chef does best.
JustLuxe: Which season do you look forward to the most for its ingredients?
Markus: Every season has its high lights and challenges. But the secret for me is to use all the ingredients available in every season in a very healthy balance. Manage ingredients to ensure that each of them complement each other and enhance flavor and taste. Surprise the palate with exciting combination that will leave a lasting impression. Come up with new ways to create and present a dish from ordinary to extraordinary.
I am always thinking about the menu, and not just one dish. It’s very important that the menu is cohesive entirely.
JustLuxe: What places or cities in the world have influenced your cooking the most?
Markus: Munich and Chicago. They are the two cities that influenced me the most, besides NYC. Munich and Chicago are very different in their lifestyle, but in the restaurant world, each opened up my horizon and approach to food and wine on a whole different level.
JustLuxe: In your opinion, what innovation has recently influenced the restaurant industry in a significant way?
Markus: After five years of “avant-garde” cuisine, the return to simplicity in the kitchen is certainly welcome.
JustLuxe: What would you say is the current climate of business in the restaurant industry?
Markus: I think NYC is one of the most competitive restaurant scenes I’ve seen so far. However, “just” cooking doesn’t make you a chef in NYC. There are many other aspects of running a restaurant which chefs have to know to make it or break it.
JustLuxe: What is your favorite dish to prepare at home as opposed to the plate you enjoy preparing in the kitchen?
Markus: I like very simple food at home and I enjoy sharing it with friends. Cooking with friends and family, sharing precious moments and create great memories.
JustLuxe: Besides gastronomy, what other passions do you have?
Markus: Music has always been a passion of mine. I enjoy Music, it’s definitely a way to balance and to be creative.
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