Why he won Because he sources an outstanding array of seafood, then prepares it using techniques he mastered while cooking around the world.
Born 1973 Raised Houston
Education The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.
Experience Via Veneto, Barcelona; Union Pacific and Jean Georges, New York City; Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong and Bangkok.
Fantasy splurge Eating in Lima, Peru. “There are more kinds of fish per square inch there than anywhere in the world.”
Favorite childhood dish Collard greens made by his grandmother, Bertie Bea Caswell. “She’d get a pan ripping hot and braise them. They’re on our menu.”
Advice to aspiring chefs Work in a Waffle House. “You’re cooking by yourself, so there’s no one to save you. My sous chef worked in a Waffle House, and she’s the fastest line cook I’ve ever seen.”
Favorite cookbook Sex, Death & Oysters by Robb Walsh. “I’ve eaten oysters since I was six, so if I can learn something about them, that’s amazing.”
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.