Some of the Greatest Chefs in the World are found in Orange County, California.

What is your first food memory?

I remember being 7 or 8 years old and walking down the street every morning in the summer to the local bakery in Fall River, Massachusetts to get freshly made spinach pies and coffee milk. 

Why did you become a chef?

I enjoy the challenge of staying in control while working in an environment that can sometimes feel chaotic. I’ve always been drawn to the rigorous, yet also creative, conditions of the kitchen.   

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Accountant for the Mafia.

If I weren’t a chef, I’d be: …bored!

Who are your favorite chefs?

Where do I start? When I was young, Emeril Lagasse, as one of the first celebrity chefs, was my hero. I looked up to him and he was the person that inspired me to become a chef. As an adult, Anthony Bourdain’s wanderlust has taught me to respect the history and tradition that can go into a meal. He will always be a legend in my book. Also, Daniel Humm, as a creative and intellectual evil genius in the kitchen, is intimidating at the very least. And last, Heston Blumenthal, the mad scientist, has taught me to respect cooking at a molecular level.

Which seasonings don’t you respect?

I respect them all. Equal rights for all seasonings.  

Any trends you consider overrated?

Cheetos as an ingredient! We should have all stopped eating them in the 8th grade.

Are there any culinary trends you like right now?

Mobile food ordering. (Disney has perfected this trend.)

What food is your guilty pleasure?

Lee’s Sandwiches. Special combination, extra pâté.

Your worst kitchen nightmare?

Dish pit mutiny. 

Best cooking tip for a novice?

Be humble! Humility will take you further in the kitchen, and in life, then arrogance ever will.

What’s your last meal on earth?

An exact repeat of a meal I had in Shimokitazawa Tokyo, Japan.

If you could cook for anyone who would it be?

My regulars. The guests that have grown up with me. The ones that have motivated me to be the best I can be, year after year. I get excited when I see a familiar name on the books. I consider my regulars my restaurant extended family.

What’s the best part about being a chef?

Watching another chef grow to their full potential. I enjoy building up and teaching a talented chef, and then letting that person go, and watching them fly.

What’s the most challenging part of being a chef?

Seeing potential and giftedness in a fellow chef and yet watching them take their own abilities and position for granted. 

Chilled White Asparagus

Seared Duck

Chef de Cuisine: Disneyland Hotel Restaurants