My style of cooking is based in 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 technique—it’s 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 technique, 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 taste buds happy!