KITCHIT: WHAT IS THE ONE KITCHEN TOOL (OTHER THAN A GOOD CHEF'S KNIFE) THAT YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT?
DANA KLITZBERG: Hard to pick just one! I love my Microplane, a good pan or rondeau, and I use the food processor quite a bit. Also, a corkscrew. Great wine is a must in my kitchen, in the food and in the glass!
WHERE CAN YOU BE FOUND/WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON YOUR DAYS OFF?
I'm catching up on emails, exploring restaurants and markets and interesting "finds" in New York City, and traveling as much as possible.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL DINNER PARTY OR EVENT:
Personally, my ideal dinner party is one where I gather family and friends from various parts of my life, in a gorgeous setting, with great food and lots of wine flowing. For clients, the ideal party or event is one which brings clients' friends, family, and colleagues together, with delicious food and free-flowing drinks...and one they don't want to end early. Lots of smiles!
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A CHEF?
Bringing smiles to my clients' faces and helping them to make wonderful lasting memories, for sure.
WHAT IS YOUR SIGNATURE DISH?
Very hard to select one, but I'm known for my great Italian dishes, including amazing pastas, seafood, and meats, and in particular: EGGPLANT. Melanzane. Yes, I'm obsessed. I've turned many eggplant-haters into fans. I share the love. Also, chocolate desserts. I am trying to marry my 2 favorite ingredients into one dish...still working on the eggplant-chocolate combo.
DESCRIBE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MEAL:
Impossible! There are too many kinds of memorable meals. Tops are the tasting menu at Enoteca Pinchiorri in Firenze, a birthday meal at Le Bernardin in New York, fabulous fresh fish on the beach in Uruguay, a multi-course meal with fellow chefs in the Italian countryside with kilos of fresh caviar...and many amazing meals in various homes with friends. Like I said, too many to mention all of them.
I KNEW THAT I WANTED TO BE A CHEF WHEN:
I first worked in a professional kitchen and loved it.
THE FIRST DISH I EVER LEARNED TO COOK WAS:
MY BEVERAGE OF CHOICE IS:
Prosecco, white wine, and good quality vodka. And good iced tea.
FIVE INGREDIENTS I ALWAYS HAVE ON HAND ARE:
Great quality olive oil from Italy, high quality sea salt, canned San Marzano tomatoes, dark chocolate, and various vinegars and sauces including Asian (sriracha and hoisin).
MY FAVORITE FOOD CITY IS:
NYC! Then: Rome, Firenze, Bangkok, Barcelona, Paris, Tel Aviv, Rio de Janeiro, London, Buenos Aires, Lisbon.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO TAKE YOUR NEXT VACATION?
Morocco and Turkey! Ceviche-palooza in Peru and Chile! Vietnam! Safari in Africa with time in Capetown and SA wine country!
MY "GUILTY PLEASURE" FOOD IS:
Buffalo wings -- good ones.
MY FAVORITE SEASON FOR COOKING
Tie between summer and autumn.
MY FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR IS:
Mint chocolate chip.
WHAT IS ONE FOOD OR DISH THAT YOU WOULD HAPPILY EAT EVERY SINGLE DAY?
A good eggplant alla parmigiana or pasta alla Norma (a Sicilian pasta dish with eggplant). And I do eat chocolate every day anyway! Dark chocolate.
TWO EGGS "MY WAY" ARE:
Probably poached...though I'm known for my fabulous "morning after" omelette with caramelized onions and boursin cheese.
WHAT IS THE ONE FOOD OR FOOD GROUP YOU COULDN'T LIVE WITHOUT?
ONE FOOD THAT I'LL AVOID AT ALL COSTS IS:
It's a beverage, and it's coffee. I know: weird. And I love the smell, just hate the taste. And yes, I'm a chef, and yes, I lived in Italy for years. Like I said, weird.