Chef Dean James Max, a Beach Boy in a Toque
Yesterday, we brought you a short profile of the unflappable Dean James Max, concept chef at Asador. Today, we asked Max to finish a few sentences for us. Tomorrow, he shares a recipe for one of his favorite dishes -- sourced local and eaten fresh.
I was raised in...a big family in a farm environment on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, just north of Virginia Beach. My friends say...They say a lot of things. [He laughs.] They say I live life to the fullest. My momma told me...always to be polite. If I had 24 hours to live I'd...throw a party with all my best friends and family. A beach party. Anywhere on the beach. Florida. Hawaii. Anywhere they could all make it. My guilty pleasure is...I have so many guilty pleasures. I'm such a hedonist though. I don't look at them as guilty pleasures. If I could go anywhere, I'd go...to the Maldives Islands. I will go one day.
Never again will I...open two restaurants in the same month. Cat or dog...I love the warmth of a dog, but I love the ease of the cat. Cats are easy, you know. Independent. The CD I couldn't do without...U2. Rattle and Hum. 1988. Reminds me of great times. I relax by...going to the beach. I'm here every month for four days. [He's at one of his other five restaurants when he's not here. His family is in Florida.] The restaurants that are settled, I am more hands off. I hire a chef I trust, like David Truvenbach here who's worked with me before. And then I like them to roll with it.
If it weren't for cooking, I would be...an architect. It's kind of a visual thing. There's a creative outlet there, visually. Texturally too. [When you're a chef,] you like to play with the visual and textural thing. The good thing is you can eat it. The bad thing is it's gone and you have to make it all over again tomorrow. Much more stressful than architecture. [He smiles.]
I get my cooking inspiration from...the market. We're very market driven. We like to see what's in the market and then create something from that.
My favorite movie is...I like dramas. I love Hangover and Caddyshack too. But I'm more into like a Field of Dreams type of movie.
Kitchen tool I could not live without...probably a chinoise, a fine strainer. That and a Vita-Prep blender.
Dallas diners expect...bold flavors.
One thing that surprises me about the Dallas dining scene is...the amount of times people eat out. People eat out a lot in Dallas.
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