What's your favorite new ingredient?
Japanese freshwater eel, which I get from the Los Angeles Fish Company. The eel's out of the water less than 24 hours. It's absolutely pristine. We use it in a white risotto with shimeji mushrooms, tomato compote, lots of extra-virgin olive oil and micro fennel.
What's the most versatile spice?
Fennel and anise are my two favorites, but I'm starting to play with Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce.
What's the most underused spice?
Cinnamon in savory foods. We do a sous vide halibut served on a reduction of red pepper and honey. We top it with crispy chorizo, warm cinnamon oil and Maldon sea salt.