KITCHIT: WHAT IS THE ONE KITCHEN TOOL (OTHER THAN A GOOD CHEF'S KNIFE) THAT YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT?
JED COTé: A mortar and pestle.
WHERE CAN YOU BE FOUND/WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON YOUR DAYS OFF?
I really enjoy cooking for my family, and then sitting down to watch a baseball game while we eat.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL DINNER PARTY OR EVENT:
My favorite way to prepare food for a group is to grill outside over a fire. It's the perfect set-up, because you can be engaged in conversation while simultaneously working "in the kitchen."
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A CHEF?
As a chef, just doing my job brings people happiness. Not to mention, I'm also enjoying myself while preparing every dish.
WHAT IS YOUR SIGNATURE DISH?
DESCRIBE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MEAL:
When I dined at Quince in San Francisco, I enjoyed fourteen mind-blowing courses, each perfectly paired with wine.
MY CULINARY IDOL OR ROLE MODEL IS:
I KNEW THAT I WANTED TO BE A CHEF WHEN:
A friend was moved to tears after tasting my roasted chicken. After that, I became really motivated to recreate that type of joy through my cooking.
MY FAVORITE RESTAURANT IS:
THE FIRST DISH I EVER LEARNED TO COOK WAS:
My mom taught me how to make a simple egg sandwich when I was about ten years old. As a chef, I have reinvented the egg sandwich many times. My current interpretation is a fried egg sandwich on an Acme roll with avocado, frisée, shallots, and pancetta.
MY BEVERAGE OF CHOICE IS:
Southern French rosé.
FIVE INGREDIENTS I ALWAYS HAVE ON HAND ARE:
Extra virgin olive oil, Maldon salt, marash pepper, garlic, and marjoram.
MY IDEA OF COMFORT FOOD IS:
After a long day of work, a large bowl of pho helps me relax.
MY FAVORITE FOOD CITY IS:
Barcelona. When I traveled there in August of 2012, I experienced some excellent traditional Catalan dishes. I've been busy recreating the meal I had in Barcelona ever since I returned to California. My favorites include patatas bravas, jamón ibérico with chanterelle mushrooms and saffron cream, and xató sauce with curly endive, bonito, anchovies, and black olives.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO TAKE YOUR NEXT VACATION?
I really want to spend a few weeks in Morocco, and find a beautiful handmade clay tagine at one of the open markets I've read so much about.
MY "GUILTY PLEASURE" FOOD IS:
Oakland is home to some of the most amazing taco trucks in the Bay Area. I love to order a plate of lengua and al pastor tacos, which are topped with chopped onions and cilantro. Late at night, a few of these little tacos with some hot sauce and a Trumer Pils really hits the spot.
WHEN I'M AT HOME AND COOKING JUST FOR MYSELF, I MAKE:
Spaghetti all'amatriciana, which is a classic Italian pasta with guanciale, tomatoes, and pecorino. I like to think of this dish as an adult version of Spaghetti-O's, because it's just so comforting and simple.
MY FAVORITE PERSON/PEOPLE TO COOK FOR IS/ARE:
My fiancée. She will get hooked on a dish sometimes, and then for a few weeks she will request it every single night I cook for her. I don't always give in, but it's very sweet.
MY FAVORITE SEASON FOR COOKING
Summer. I love Summer.
MY FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR IS:
Pistachio ice cream.
MY FAVORITE COOKBOOK IS:
That's a toss-up. I love Sunday Suppers At Lucques by Suzanne Goin, and The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden. At home, both of these books are within arms' reach at all times.
WHAT IS ONE FOOD OR DISH THAT YOU WOULD HAPPILY EAT EVERY SINGLE DAY?
Sliced heirloom tomatoes with hand-stretched mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, maldon salt, black pepper, and basil.
THE DISH THAT MY MOTHER/GRANDMOTHER WILL ALWAYS MAKE BEST IS:
Cauliflower gratin. There is something about the way my mom prepares this dish that gets me every time.
TWO EGGS "MY WAY" ARE:
I like to prepare a savory dish, such as beef short rib and butterball potatoes, in a cazuela, and then cook it in a wood burning oven. When this is done, I will pull out the cazuela, crack two eggs right on top, and then let it cook in the oven until the eggs are just perfect. Serving this dish while the juices are still simmering is quite rewarding, albeit hot!
THE FIVE SPICES/HERBS I TEND TO USE MOST ARE:
Marash pepper, cumin, coriander, chervil, and marjoram.
YOU'VE JUST BEEN OFFERED YOUR OWN TELEVISION SHOW. DESCRIBE IT:
My cooking show, aptly named “Endless Summer,” would feature my travels to different countries in an attempt to chase down my favorite season; we would never encounter any weather cooler than a slight summer breeze. I am at my happiest in the summer, and I would love to showcase the wide variety of food around the world that is best enjoyed while sweat rolls down your back.
MY FAVORITE LOCAL ARTISAN FOOD PRODUCT IS:
The delicious Pain d'Epi by Acme Bread in Berkeley.
MY FAVORITE LOCAL PRODUCE ITEM IS:
Little Gems lettuce, which is both soft and crunchy; in the Bay Area, we are lucky to have farmers that grow such an exquisite and versatile lettuce.
MY FAVORITE BREAKFAST CEREAL IS:
Chilaquiles. I don't eat cereal, but I do love to make this traditional Mexican dish to enjoy with a hot cup of coffee in the morning.
WHAT IS THE ONE FOOD OR FOOD GROUP YOU COULDN'T LIVE WITHOUT?