Why he won Because his fascination with innovative Asian and Mediterranean cooking is balanced by his skill at making food that's absolutely delicious.
Born London; 1970.
Education Newbury College School of Hotel & Restaurant Management, Brookline, Massachusetts.
Experience Marriott Hotel Group; Inn at the Opera in San Francisco; Sage in Boston; AZ and Pazo in New York City.
Biggest influence His mother. "She's the best cook in the world. When I used to come home from clubbing at 2 a.m., first she'd yell, then she'd start cooking. I never came home from school when there wasn't something on the stove wrapped in foil—stuffed peppers, polenta pie."
Biggest inspiration "I'll go down the street to the Boston Public Library and look at all the cookbooks, including the really old, handwritten ones."
Ingredient obsession Wild cherry bark. "I've been adding sachets of powdered bark to soups, stocks and sauces. It's not in-your-face; it's an underlying flavor, a base note."
What he'd be if he wasn't a chef A punk rock guitarist.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.