Eric Rivera, exec chef of Cafe|Bar, on pretty legs, butt cracks and the exploding salmon eyeball
Favorite spice: A smoked porcini mustard shallot spice blend that I get from the Savory Spice Shop. You can use it with any type or kind of meat or vegetable, and it's got a really unique flavor profile that makes it a fun addition to any dish.
One food you detest: Green bell peppers. I've tried and tried to push through, but I just can't develop a taste for them, especially when they're in their raw form.
One food you can't live without: Fresh baked bread with good olive oil is really simple and so satisfying. I wish I was a better baker, or at least had the patience for it, because I'd bake bread every day in my kitchen if I could.
Rules of conduct in your kitchen: Respect each other; teach one another; learn from one another; and never forget the "mom" principle: Don't give out anything you wouldn't be proud to serve your mom. There are no floppy shoes allowed in the kitchen, either. Why? Because I can't stand it when people shuffle their feet. The kitchen staff has to make sure the fryer is always on, too, and no shorts are allowed in the kitchen unless your legs are prettier than the prettiest girls' legs in the restaurant.
Biggest kitchen disaster: I was working at a pizzeria and forgot to turn on the oven, so it wasn't preheated in time for the lunch rush, and I don't need to tell you how embarrassing it is to work at a pizzeria, which revolves around ovens, and then forget to turn them on. Even more embarrassing is that I've made that same mistake twice.
What's never in your kitchen? A microwave. There's never a reason to have one in a professional kitchen, and I don't even like having one at home. Ass cracks, other than mine, are never in my kitchen. No, seriously, I'm notorious for that. The kitchen staff always makes fun of me because of it.
What's always in your kitchen? A Robot Coupe, which is the "tank of the kitchen." I can't even begin to tell you how many times I use this machine on a day-to-day basis. And goodies for the cooks, whether it's ice cream sandwiches, strawberry milk or frozen Snickers bars.
Favorite food from your childhood: My mom's smothered burritos. She seemed to be the only one who can make them just right, and she didn't make them very often. They were just special.