The ponytailed, Toronto-based star of Top Chef Masters talks to F&W about 10 of his biggest food, style and art obsessionsand explains why reality TV is kind of like a game of Jenga.
Courtesy of Cooktek.
1. Tiny Induction Stove
2. Rolex Diver's-Style Watch
I bought myself a sporty black Rolex. No diamonds. Straight up. And now I don't look at other people's watches.
3. Entertaining Style
When you walk into a Russian restaurant, there are already 20 plates sitting on the table. I like that Russian attitude, but with Asian flavors.
4. Super-Simple Soup
5. Contemporary Art
I've always related to Asian art. I especially like Yue Minjun; he is based in Beijing. He paints the people with the gigantic smiley faces.
6. Vintage Car
I've had my 1972 VW Beetle for 22 years. I bought it for $500 from a mechanic. Now I've put $30,000 into it to make it nice for my kids. It used to be black, and now it's silver. I put nice speakers inside, too.
Courtesy of Etro.
7. European Labels
I like European-type straight jeans; my son picks them out for me. I also like Etro; they make nice shirts. And I love Dolce & Gabbana suits. I like to mix and match.
8. Hotel Perks
It's nice when the staff puts an exotic fruit basket in my room. It changes my mood.
9. Favorite Music
I grew up in the '70s, so of course I will always love my funk and Motown music. I'd have Earth, Wind & Fire play for me at one of my restaurants. Tower of Power, too. They would open for EWF.
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10. Lessons from Top Chef Masters
The teamwork involved in producing a TV show is a lot like the teamwork in a professional kitchen. You each have your own job with its own timing. But, as in a game of Jenga, you have to be sure everything fits together. And no blocks fall.