Brussels sprouts are misunderstood - probably because most people don't know how to cook them properly.
I enjoy the creative side of the business side of being a restaurateur. That's my thing. The thing I'm constantly thinking about is, how do you create new, interesting situations that keep people coming back?
I find more people want to eat a little less. My generation, we're all watching our figures. They want to go to the bar and eat a few snacks, have a couple of cocktails or glasses of wine, and go home. People don't sit down at the table and have a whole three or four courses.
I love celery and people don't use it a lot. Celery and flavors in that family - it really brightens and is refreshing.
I think a lot of people have a misconception of what the kitchen is about, but you know the grueling part of it is also the pleasure of it. That's why I think you have to have a certain mentality to understand what that is and be able to handle it.
I've got a really great team around me. They're the ones that are in the restaurants on a day to day basis. Anyone that's good can't be stifled in any way. I don't baby people.
We have a training period; we have certain guidelines and structure. You can't hire talented people and stifle them. That's not the way it works anymore.
We'll serve, on a good Saturday night six or seven thousand people in all the restaurants, and it's like, the percentages are that maybe one person's not going to like what they get. And I can't be there to fix it. I hate that. We're in this business to make things that please people.
Like anything, you don't force kids to cook. It just becomes part of life - have them be around it, keep them informed - talk about it. I try to relay my passion for it in these ways. The second you try to force anything on your own kid, they rebel.
Some of the things I think I learned from that were very educational as far as just paying bills - the basics in dealing with a restaurant like that. It was just life - the education involved in running the organization, even on a small level.
I played from the time I was seven years old. My father was my first baseman coach. I had opportunities that I never really pursued - with some Miami teams and a few larger colleges, and then I ended up bailing and began cooking.
Absolutely, there is a connection between food and love. I always say, when there's love in my heart or I'm feeling particularly good, the food comes out that much better. And so I think Valentine's Day is a special day.
I call it an old-fashioned seafood house for the new millennium. We are trying to update what we know as old fish houses and places like that, which are great, but I want to give it a new, fresh look with updated versions of the classics we all love.
Spices are very hot, very hip. I love spices. I've always loved the Mediterranean flavors.
I liked the energy of cooking, the action, the camaraderie. I often compare the kitchen to sports and compare the chef to a coach. There are a lot of similarities to it.