At ABC Cocina and Kitchen, 90 percent of our produce and vegetables come from Union Square, and that's all from upstate New York farmers. We are simply committed to this idea of local, organic food.
Actually, I'd really love to do something in Bali, up in the mountains. A little restaurant with that scenery would be beautiful.
I'm cooking 42 years, and I didn't know bananas are good for my brain.
I landed in 1980 in Bangkok, and I stopped to eat ten times between the airport and the hotel. It was all lemongrass and ginger and chilies.
I arrived in Bangkok in 1980: I was 23 years old, and it changed my life.
My presence in California will bring a new, inspiring culinary environment to life, and I'm delighted to share my creative techniques and evolving fresh ideas with the Beverly Hills community.
I love cooking, but I love the business, too. It's important because a lot of chefs forget the business side and have to shut down after six months.
A chef and a restaurateur are different jobs: One is about pleasing people with what's on the plate; the other is about understanding the market. I'm a chef, but I think I'm a savvy businessperson, too.
This is what I grew up on in Alsace. It's choucroute. I'd wake up every morning with the smell of cabbage and potatoes and pork.
At lunchtime, our kitchen was like a mini restaurant: my grandmother and mother had to cook for as many as 25 people - extended family plus 10 employees. We ate a lot of cabbage and a lot of potatoes.
I grew up in Alsace - in Strasbourg, by the canal; the family business was coal handling. It was still in the days when three generations would live under the same roof. There were 15 people for lunch, 20 for dinner.
I arrived in New York in 1986, when I was 28. The market here was nothing. In the Union Square farmers' market, it was a couple of potatoes, everything from California. So the only place I was comfortable shopping was in Chinatown, because it all came from Hong Kong.
My two essential ingredients are chilies, any kind, dried or fresh; and acid, whether it's citrus - lemon, lime, yuzu - or vinegars. Food has to pop.
For friends, I love to make bruschetta. I grill country bread with Frantoia olive oil and make toppings, like crab, roasted squash, mushrooms, whatever's seasonal.
My grandmother taught me how to make the basic pate brise pastry crust when I was young. The one thing I learned simply by eating her endless variations on delicious tarts for dinner every night is that this dough can be used for just about anything - sweet or savory.
Spice Market was just a big investment on lots of different levels.
In the morning, we sliced all the vegetables and layered everything up in a pot with a glass of Riesling. On the way to church, we dropped it off with the baker, who sealed the lid with a strip of dough and put it in his oven for a couple of hours. We picked it up at 12 o'clock and took it home to eat with mustard and salad.
For people in London, Asian flavors are always part of the culture, more than in New York.
My kitchen in New York City is in the Richard Meier building on Perry Street, so it's ultra-modern: white, glass and transparent. It's 180 square feet, with an induction stove. Everything's hidden, so you don't see the microwave or the fridge.
My father was in the coal and heating business, and he wanted me to take over his business, and I resented every moment of it. So I would never force my kids to do what I do.