I'm a corporate chef for LDV Hospitality—we have 23 brands and almost 40 stores up and down the east coast—from Puerto Rico and Miami to New York. I help open these restaurants, and write the menus in conjunction with the chefs. We're expanding pretty quickly: we've opened 12 and a half stores in the last year.
I've been cooking since I was really young. I grew up with my grandparents in New Jersey, just on the other side of the Hudson, and while my grandfather worked, I cooked with my grandmother every day. She definitely inspired me. My jobs have always been in restaurants. I started working when I was 13, just bussing tables and doing dishes, whatever they would let me do. I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in '97, and have been working in Manhattan ever since.
I worked in French restaurants all of my life. The basics of cooking, I believe, come from French cooking. It provides this great base of knowledge, and from there, you can move into any genre.
American cut is all about the steak, but we take a lot of pride in every single component of the dish—a lot of restaurants end up with bland potatoes and vegetables as their sides. We're not like that.
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