What's your favorite new ingredient?
We have a techno-organic approach, meaning we do both traditional and experimental food. We use methylcellulose to make scrambled mangoes with tuna tartare. It thickens liquids to form a gel, which makes the mango juice look like scrambled eggs. On the other hand, I love Berkshire pigs from Riverview Farms in northern Georgia. We get the whole hog. We'll prepare the loin sous vide, cure the belly with sugar and cider, and make a pâté that we serve with mustard ice cream and juiced cornichons, thickened with xanthan gum.
What's the most versatile spice?
Smoked Spanish salt and smoked paprika. They're great for a touch of smokiness. Caraway seed is great, too. We do beef brisket and a corned duck breast with caraway seed. That's the Irish New Yorker side of me.
What's the most underused spice?
Nutmeg. It's in traditional recipes, but lots of chefs, including me, don't use it anymore.