in my career. I’ve learned to relax a bit,
but I still have trying moments everyday.
A last-minute call-in. Broken equipment.
Whatever. Everyone deals with the same
stuff. That’s what Zoloft is for.
What technique, ingredient, or
principle are you inspired by right now?
The first thing that comes to mind is the
recent movement in restaurants toward a
more rustic approach. It’s refreshing. And
necessary. There will always be a place for
the ultra-fine dining experience, but people
want to be able to eat great food without
it being this huge weeklong build-up to
a event. I found this to be a wake-up call
to me and what I was striving for, what I
had always been passionate about. Being
around all the open fire at Rowhouse, using
these stripped down, almost primitive
cooking tools, really lends itself to that
old world rustic feel. Whole meats, simple
preparations. It’s affected my approach to
If you hadn’t become a chef, what
would you have done instead?
Looking back now, after so many years,
it is truly hard to imagine! But I’ve always
enjoyed the various areas of psychology,
or perhaps something in education.
Is there a food from your youth you
My paternal grandmother would always
put together a fine eight course Italian
lunch whenever we’d visit, and it would
render you useless for about three hours
afterward. I miss that.
What was the first thing you made for
your parents after you decided to cook
I probably tried some horrific version of
a French classic, like sole vin blanc: rolled
little paupiettes. I am certain they were
very impressed. And thrilled. Or concerned
for my future.
Favorite LP to prep by?
Any Hold Steady album, or the new(ish)
full-length by The Bronx. However, the
staff at Rowhouse seems dead set on
just playing “Gucci Gang” by Lil Pump on
repeat. All the time.
What Buffalo’s food scene really needs?
More traditional Chinese, Korean, and
Vietnamese places—I would love to see
that. Also, I wish someone would open
up a legit tiki bar. Like Hidden Harbor in
Pittsburgh or Mother of Pearl
in NYC. Please? There is the
talent and know-how here
already; let’s get it done.
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