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A Bite with Todd English

continued (page 2 of 2)

GL: Is there a special way it’s prepared?

TE: It’s the Poulet de Bresse, the blue chicken... it’s just a delicious bird only grown in that area, farm raised. It’s very meaty but also delicious flavor.

GL: Who taught you how to cook?

TE: My grandmother and my mother.

GL: Do you think they affected your present-day cooking style? What did your mother teach you about cooking that you use on a daily basis?

TE: It would have to do with the basics, the foundation of cooking and understanding how to build layers of flavor. She didn’t even know she was doing that technically, but that is how she cooked and I’m sure how she was taught.

GL: And what type of cuisine did they enjoy making with you?

TE: Sort of the homeland, Italian. But my mom was more of an American cook.

GL: And was there a favorite dish you had growing up?

TE: My mother would make this chocolate cake that I would love, that she made for my birthday all the time. It was just a basic chocolate cake with icing but delicious.

GL: Who inspired you to become a chef?

TE: My mother. She is a great cook.

GL: What do you see as the next big food trend?

TE: I think you’ll see more stuff with the Indian, Malaysian and Southeast Asian flavors. Anything with spices, with lots of flavor.

GL: Your newest restaurant that you’ve just opened, tell me about it.

TE: Ça Va. I actually ate there last night it was really good. It is a French Bistro.

GL: Do you have a favorite dish on the menu?

TE: We do a salad of duck confit, haricot verts and seared foie gras in a vinagrette.

GL: Would you say opening this restaurant was somewhat inspired by your favorite place in Paris?

TE: Yeah definitely. Also, when I first started cooking I worked for a lot of French chefs like Jean Jacques Rachou at La Côte Basque.

GL: What would be the next restaurant you would like to do?

TE: The next one I’m opening is called Ember Room in Hell’s Kitchen.

GL: What types of dishes will you serve? Is it casual finger food or fine dining?

TE: It will be fun and casual. It’s Asian-inspired barbeque.

GL: Most of your restaurants tend to be more casual. Do you think you will do a fine dining place?

TE: Maybe down the road somewhere, I don’t know. I believe that this is more of who I am and what people want.

GL: How are your kids involved with you in the food world and why is their interest so important?

TE: It really creates a great bond. Oliver is at Cornell in hotel school. Isabelle opened up Curly Cakes. and Simon and I are working on a cooking show together.

GL: What’s the number one lesson you teach your kids when it comes to cooking?

TE: Buy what is seasonal and keep it simple.

GL: What else can we expect to see this year?

TE: I have my new cookbook coming out in the fall. It incorporates all my travels and experiences I’ve encountered over the last 10 years. It’s really about the things I like—taking common ingredients, teaching people about how to season, how to do things very simply like grilling a piece of salmon and using fennel salt to garnish it.

GL: If you weren’t a chef, what would you do for a living?

TE: I would follow my rock and roll passions.


Victoria Recaño is a television reporter who lives in Los Angeles.

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