Background Worked at China Moon Café, San Francisco; Granita, Malibu.
How he got into cooking "I got a job in a Chinese kitchen when I was 16 to learn about food and eat for free."
First memorable meal "I still remember the sashimi tuna pizza dinner I had at New York's Quilted Giraffe when I was 18."
Weirdest food he's ever eaten "English foodall those organ meats and savory pies."
Favorite equipment "I always keep a regular tablespoon in my pocket. I can spoon sauces and turn meat and fish with itit's my ace in the hole."
Favorite place to eat Il Mulino, New York City.
What he'd do if he weren't a chef "I would make jewelry."
Recipe tip When making stuffed pasta with a butter sauce, partially cook the pasta in boiling water, then finish it in the sauce for more flavor.
Won Best New Chef at: Spago Beverly Hills