Our customers don’t seem to notice that they’re eating mostly vegetables. (Except for things like pig’s head, of course.) I’m hardly a vegetarian, but my menu is vegetable-centric. The best produce in the country is grown right here. If I lived in Argentina, my menu would be all about beef.
I pair perfume with food because the relationship between taste, smell, emotion, and memory is infinitely interesting. Every chef engages with the idea in some way; at Coi, we just do it more consciously. I never use the word aromatherapy, though; I try to stay away from freaky New Age psychobabble.
When I see an artichoke, I think, “What if…?”
I opened a nine-table restaurant because I realize that $115 tasting menus don’t have mass appeal. Still, people fly in from Los Angeles, New York City. It’s scary.
In my (very few) off hours, I play keyboard in a band—Syd’s Last Trip. Think Sonic Youth meets Pink Floyd.
Even though my essays are published in the New York Times, I don’t feel like a real writer yet.
At the end of the day, I just want to make food that tastes good. That’s it. I’m a cook.