Patxi Azpiroz, chef of Patxi's Pizza, on eating fried worms and pesto pizza proposals
Food trend you'd like to see disappear in 2013: The slider has become way too ubiquitous.
One food you detest: I can't stand the taste of cucumbers, although oddly enough, I think pickles are great. It's been a lifelong battle, though: Every now and then I'll try cucumbers again just to make sure I still can't stand them, and inevitably, I still can't seem to get over the taste.
One food you can't live without: I hope it doesn't sound cliché, but it's pizza. It's a combination of all of my favorite foods. I can eat it for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner -- and because I'm a pizza chef, I sometimes do.
Favorite dish on your menu: That's not an easy question to answer. We have a pretty small, well-thought-out menu, but our pizza combinations are endless. I have so much fun being surprised when guests order a combination I haven't tried yet, so it definitely doesn't get old. I guess my all-time go-to on our menu is the classic Chicago-style stuffed pizza with chicken, spinach and pesto. There's something about fresh spinach stuffed inside a Chicago-style pizza that I can't get enough of.
Biggest menu bomb: We tried a baked broccoli, Swiss and turkey sandwich once, and it was really awesome, but at the end of the day, I think we marketed it wrong, and our guests wanted pizza, not sandwiches. You live and learn; I'm happy with that.
What's never in your kitchen? A freezer.
What's always in your kitchen? An oven. At home I have a pretty cool range, but I never get tired of playing with our huge revolving pan oven at Patxi's. It's so cool: We can fit sixty pizzas in there at any one time, and they all cook so evenly.
Craziest night in the kitchen: The opening night of our first Patxi's restaurant in Palo Alto, California, in 2002. I had no idea so many people were going to come through the door, not to mention the fact that our kitchen had only a small percentage of the training that they actually needed. It turned out well, though, and the customers were happy, but I don't think I've ever worked that hard in my life.
Biggest mistake a chef can make on the line: Losing your calmness and focus.