My style of cooking is based in the simplicity of ingredients and layers of flavors.
Everything that I know comes together in a dish, no matter what that dish is. I grew up with Creole and Soul food, but when I develop recipes now, I apply techniques that I’ve learned from studying other cuisines: I use Indian spicing techniques in my Red Beans and Rice; I use Creole techniques when making a Thai dish; I apply Mayan techniques when I make soup. Because technique is about what you are doing to make the flavors stand out in a dish — it doesn’t necessarily have to do with a specific cuisine or geography.
I’m a nerd when it comes to cooking. I read tons of cookbooks, instructional books, books on techniques, and magazines. My wife will come home and I’ll be in bed with ten books and my laptop, exploring everything, always being a student, digging deeper into the food science to find out what will make a dish really pop.
When I’m developing a menu for a client, the conversation comes first. I get an idea of what you like, what you want, and that sparks the investigation.
The next step happens in the grocery store: being with the produce, talking to the butcher, the fish monger, knowing what’s going to have the sweetest flavor, what is in season. I am a perfectionist. My inspiration comes from visualizing that person eating the last bite.
I can just look at somebody eating my food and know, okay, that one is right; my job is done — even without one compliment. It’s what I live for… seeing the tastebuds happy!