Recently, someone asked me to describe my dream dinner. If I could have a meal with three people—alive or dead—who would they be, and what would I serve?
My first dinner guest would be one of my mentors, Warren Leruth. He was one of the greatest chefs I’ve ever met. An expert in research and development, he taught me how to write formulas and layer flavors. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2001, but I would love the chance to dine with him again. Because Chef Leruth played a major role in the resurgence of French-Creole cuisine, I would make a dish starting with traditional New Orleans cuisine and update it with trending flavors.
Guest number two would be Auguste Escoffier. To me, he is the father of modern cuisine. Thanks to Chef Escoffier, we have the five fundamental “mother sauces.” I would love to recreate a popular dish from his time using today’s most popular cooking techniques.
My third guest would be none other than my grandfather. I never had the chance to meet him, so his presence would be extremely special to me. I would prepare one of my grandmother’s recipes that he would have probably eaten quite often—but I’d add my own special twist, of course.
Great food is a given. But what would make this meal truly memorable, for me at least, would be the conversations we would have and the memories we would share. I’d love to show them how I’ve developed my craft over the years and tell them how much they meant to me and how influential they were in making me the chef I am today.
Talk to you soon!