chef: brian mottola
location: pop's new orleans cafe, madison, nj
recipe: red fish meuniere
My grandfather and mother were always in the kitchen, and I wanted to do something with both.
Where did you learn to cook?
I got my degree from Johnson and Wales in Providence Rhode Island, which was a wonderful experience, but the best learning experience was working at Emeril's Restaurant in New Orleans and Delmonicos in Las Vegas and the Boulevard in San Francisco.
Culinary Artistry by by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page.
What's the one ingredient you could not live without?
Salt —and many of the spices which are important to a dish
Favorite Microbrew beer or wine?
My favorite drink is Maker's Mark Bourbon.
Favorite music to listen to while cooking?
ACDC, Black Sabath, Montgomery Gentry.
What is your favorite type of food?
Home cooked comfort food that love and care went into the dish.
Most memorable meal?
The Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco.
Most memorable dinner guest?
While working with Emeril in New Orleans, President Clinton came in for dinner.
Most irritating celebrity chef?
Anthony Bourdain and Bobby Flay.
What makes indie food better?
Quality ingredients, food cooked and flavored with the taste and feel of the dish.
Who's more your type, Aunt Jemima or Mrs. Butterworth?