Round two with Fabio Flagiello, exec chef of PastaVino
What are your favorite wines and/or beers? Barolo Sandrone, Barbaresco Produttori Rio Sordo, Brunello di Montalcino Altesino, Le Volte Super Tuscan, Friulano Marco Felluga, Salice Salentino, pinot grigio and Jermann, and for beers, I'm Italian, so naturally I like Moretti.
Biggest compliment you've ever received: I worked at a restaurant called Capri in Venice Beach that was very small and completely bare, with no pictures or art on the wall. Elle magazine reviewed the restaurant and wrote, "Capri doesn't need any art on the wall -- the art is on the plate."
Best recipe tip for a home cook: I've got two: Make sure to take your time when you're cooking, and make sure you have all the right equipment in your kitchen.
What are your biggest pet peeves? Not keeping your space clean as you cook; not leaving the walk-in in good order when you leave; and cutting corners, no matter what it is.
Culinary heroes: Roger Verge from Paris, the Troigros brothers in Roanne, Gualtiero Marchesi from Milano, and, most of all, Giampaolo Grazzini, the man with the greatest food, wine and business knowledge I've ever met.
Favorite celebrity chef: The Naked Chef [Jamie Oliver]. He tries to bring genuine tradition to the plate, even if the outcome isn't always perfect.
Celebrity chef who needs a muzzle: Emeril Lagasse. I honestly can't take any more of his "Bam!"
What's one thing that people would be surprised to know about you? Although I'm Italian and I always cook Italian food, the place where I learned the most about cooking and cuisine -- and where I learned to become a better cook so I could be on par with other chefs -- was Paris, which, in my opinion, is still the capital of cuisine.
What's your best piece of advice to culinary-school grads? For the first few years of your career, cook for a little less money, but make sure you're cooking in the best restaurant you can possibly work in. That way, you can make sure that you learn the basics the right way.