Jonathan Waxman, the 1970s California cooking pioneer and owner of New York City’s Barbuto is now a Top Chef Masters TV star. He tells F&W’s Kate Krader about 10 obsessions.

By Food & Wine
Updated March 28, 2016
Jonathan Waxman

1. Ferrari Barchetta

“I sold vintage cars for a year and fell in love with the Barchetta—the first real Ferrari. It looks like a go-kart.”

2. Stereo Equipment

“I own a very esoteric stereo system from Naim in England. My speakers are Zu—actually, it’s a single speaker. I bought it from some punk-rock dudes in Utah.”

3. Family Heirlooms

“We have 19th-century Baccarat glasses from my wife’s mother. And real Paul Revere silver. Real.”

4. Beef Stroganoff

“In my quest to be a chef, I first attempted beef Stroganoff at age 12, with a recipe from a cookbook. This version is more luxurious: I make it with beef tenderloin and crème fraîche.”

5. Fantasy House

“I dream of buying a Beatrix Potter-style cottage in England. There would be a door so the rabbits and deer could come in.”

6. Persian Rugs

“Rugs from Persia are the most gorgeous things in the world: great art, and great craftsmanship. At 3 a.m., if I can’t sleep, I’ll look at rug catalogs.”

Mason & Hamlin Piano

Courtesy of the Mason & Hamlin Piano Company

7. Mason & Hamlin Piano

“My daughter’s teacher says our 1920s piano is the most beautiful one she’s ever played.”

8. The Alps

“Every summer I go to my friend’s house there. When you go hiking, you can see Mont Blanc—you can contemplate everything.”

9. Art

“I knew Richard Diebenkorn when I was chef at Michael’s in L.A. I bought a few of his pieces then. He’s the quintessential California artist.”

10. James Otis

“My wife’s family came over on the Mayflower. One of her ancestors is James Otis; he said, ‘Taxation without representation is tyranny.’ ”


Video: Jonathan Waxman’s Cooking Tips

More Top Chef Coverage

Kevin Sbraga
Spice-rubbed chicken thighs
Credit: © Petrina Tinslay
Gail Simmons