Round two with Darrel Truett, exec chef of Barolo Grill
Which chef has most inspired you? Davide Scabin. After an amazing meal two years ago in Rivoli, Italy, at Combal Zero, we went back into the employee lounge to meet the man himself. We sat there till 4:30 in the morning talking shop and exchanging stories. This past trip, we returned to Combal Zero, and after the meal, we drank herbal infusions -- basically a vodka tonic infused with citrus and herbs -- and ate plate after plate of antipasti until 6:30 in the morning. Chef Scabin is so dedicated, passionate and creative, and he puts so much thought into every single dish that leaves the kitchen that it makes me want to push myself to cook on that same level.
If you could cook in another chef's kitchen, whose would it be? Davide Scabin. I'd love an opportunity to work side by side with someone who inspires me, and being able to do it in Italy would definitely be an added bonus.
Celebrity chef who needs a muzzle: Alton Brown. He knows everything about food and we know that, but does he have to rub it in our face every time he opens his mouth?
Most humbling moment as a chef: Whenever I go into the dining room and hear the regular customers tell me that the food is better now than it's ever been -- that they can really feel the attention we're giving to the food since I've taken over, and having them tell me I'm doing a good job and that they're happy. When our guests are happy, I'm happy.
Greatest accomplishment as a chef: Two years ago, when I got a phone call from Blair Taylor letting me know he wanted to give me the opportunity to run the kitchen at Barolo Grill. Whenever you get a job, you always want to progress and make it to the next level. I felt like all the hard work I'd done up until then had finally paid off.
What's next for you? Right now, I'm happy right where I am. I want to continue to put out really great dishes and work on some creative new ideas for my new menus.
Last meal before you die: The sandwich Adam Sandler eats in the movie Spanglish. If you watch the extras on the DVD, the sandwich is actually a Thomas Keller creation. He gives a step-by-step demo on how to make one, and every now and then at home, I'll make one with a really nice sourdough bread, Muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon and a fried egg. In the movie, Sandler washes it down with a beer. I'd probably have a root beer.
What question should I ask the next chef I interview? What was the last cookbook you bought, and what recipes are you cooking from it?
If you hadn't become a chef, what would you be doing right now? There was a time when I wanted to be a stockbroker, but at this point in my life, I really can't imagine doing anything else.