Jeremy Thomas, chef of Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar, on simplicity, spoons and Sheehan
Food trend you'd like to see in 2013: For years to come, I'd like to see chefs keep it simple and let the flavors speak for themselves. I feel like some dishes get really crowded once you put too many ingredients on the plate; when that happens, it clouds everything, and the dish has no direction.
Food trend you'd like to see disappear in 2013: The food-truck concept is a bit overplayed, in my opinion. I've bought some pretty mediocre food from food trucks and paid way too much money for it.
One food you detest: I don't really detest any food except green bell peppers, and I've had a few bad experiences with Indian food, but I'm sure I just haven't found the right place. And truth be told, food is part of every culture, so it has deep meaning to whatever society it's derived from.
One food you can't live without: Crab legs are awesome. I've loved them ever since I was a little boy eating at SeaGalley by Southwest Plaza, and I still think they're the best things ever
Most memorable meal you've ever had: There have been so many, and Heidi, my wife, is great company, so that's a key ingredient, but I think I can narrow it down to three: Larkspur, in Vail, when chef Armado was there -- that guy is insanely good; Blanca, in Solana Beach, California, when chef Wade Hageman was cooking; and La Tour, also in Vail. I'll remember chef Paul Ferzacca's tellicherry-crusted ahi, pinot reduction and lobster mashed potatoes for the rest of my life.
Favorite childhood food memory: Eating frosting off my mom's cakes while she had her back to me. I did it knowing she would get so mad, but they were so delicious, I couldn't help it.
Favorite junk food: Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches are killer, and I'm also addicted to Reese's peanut butter cups -- my father loved them and passed that one on to me. Dill Pringles are my latest obsession -- they're so good -- and I also love ice cream and fresh cookies, in particular the smell, the texture and the temperature. I have some cavities.
What do you enjoy most about your craft? I love to eat and taste new things -- that's why I got into this industry -- and I love teaching people how to cook and the different techniques I've learned in my career. I'll teach my cooks everything they need to know, as long as they're willing to listen. Listening is key; otherwise I'm wasting my time.