Where did you buy your ingredients for this dish?
bought the meat at Lobel’s on the Upper East Side. Lobel’s is one of
the last great independent butchers in the area. But I love Lobel’s not
because they are part of a dying breed, but because they do meat better
than Whole Foods could ever dream.
Is this a dish you often make? If so, why?
have made this dish a lot. I love it because it’s an event in and of
itself: 90 percent of the work is spent in the preparation and nine
percent cooking and one percent eating.
take the meat off the grill, the fun is over and it becomes this very
brutal, primal process of devouring that depresses me. In that sense, I
totally understand why most chefs design kitchens that are
from where the eating takes place.
Did you have any mishaps while making this dish, or did it go
went very smoothly. It was raining pretty hard, which meant that it was
difficult to get the desired heat (1000 degrees).
Do you cook often? Do you enjoy preparing
meals? Is there someone you cook for, beside
I love to cook
most of all for my wife, and then guests. It used to be nerve-racking
cooking for guests when we lived in a tiny East Village apartment.
Since then we moved to New Jersey and have ample room—and don’t let
anyone fool you, that makes all the difference. You need space to play,
and you need to be inspired by that space. I have a nice garden that I
can grill in. Before, it was on a sticky tar roof,
against co-op rules!
Do you draw any connection between the
food you like to make and the kind of design you do? Is your approach
to one similar at all to your approach to the other?
In cooking you know pretty quick if something is good or bad. With design, who knows (who cares!).
How important is presentation to you?
during the process of making food is way more important than how it’s
eventually presented. I grill on a $99 BBQ that I bought at home depot.
It’s an updated version of the one my father cooked on
since I was 10 years old—that to me is as exquisite a look you can get.
When and how did you first learn to cook? Who taught you?
mother taught me to cook. I came from a farm and spent more time in the
kitchen than I did in the barn.
Do you think your relationship
with food has changed much over the years?
kitchen is home—one of the few spots I know I can go to and get
grounded. Often I’ll just lie down on the bare floor of our kitchen for
10- or 20 minutes—literally getting grounded.
Is there a new way that you’ve noticed
design and food connecting? How is design shaping our collective
relationship with food, in your opinion?
More and more I think people are realizing that they actually have
choice in all matters (big and small) that pertain to their lives:
where they travel, what they drink, what they eat, what they watch,
what they read, what they cook, etc. As they become more aware of this,
they start to make more decisions based on what they want: they edit,
they curate, they research, they shape, they form, they have to think
creatively, before you know it they are designing the way they live!
Cooking is then part of the design process.
Do you listen to music while you cook? If
so, what’s your preferred cooking soundtrack?
I listen to the birds chirping and the fat sizzling.