Background Born in Fullerton, California. Trained at Newbury College's Culinary Arts Program in Brookline, Massachusetts. Worked at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge.
How he got into cooking "There was a two-year waiting list to get into forestry school. And my journalism teacher told me I should probably not write for a living."
First thing he ever cooked Popcorn, on Sunday nights before The Wonderful World of Disney.
Favorite place to eat Formaggio, a cheese shop in Cambridge. "I sit on the sidewalk with the cheese, some bread and Stewart's root beer."
Trend he's most tired of Fusion. "I call it fissionit's breaking food apart, not bringing it together."
Least favorite food Brains. "My philosophy is, if you fry something and it doesn't taste good, you'll never like it. Well, I've had brain fritters."
Food vice Jelly beans. "I share them with my dog."
Recipe tip Use a little sugar in meat marinades; it will caramelize and yield a delicious crust. But balance it with something acidic, like wine.
Won Best New Chef at: Salts, Cambridge, MA
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.