Perhaps because his first foray into the restaurant business was as a dishwasher, Luscher appreciates cooks who have paid their dues.
That was at the age of 12, by the way, for a supper club in Wisconsin. He also spent time on a farm and his father's butcher shop before running a small restaurant. Cooking school--the prestigious CIA--came later.
Luscher purchased The Grape in 2007, after stints at his future restaurant and the TPC at Craig Ranch. And if he could go back and do it all again, he'd also strive valiantly to keep Rush out of the recording studio...
1. Being a chef wasn't enough for you? Why did you buy a restaurant?
I guess if I was going to miss my daughter growing up, I wanted it to be worthwhile. I might as well take a crack at it. Of course, with my luck I open in the second worst year ever.
2. What do you think of the "can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" saying?
Yeah-get the fuck out of the kitchen. It couldn't be more true. You can't be a chef without being a cook or a dishwasher first. So many people are more concerned with making a name for themselves. Either you're dedicated or you're not.
3. Do you ever haze new line cooks?
No--not hazing so much. But I'll let them screw up so I can prove my point. I relish those situations.
4. Which chef would you like to work with?
Just to see any of the original French masters at work would be great. I'd like to see how they did it.
5. OK--if you could go back in time, what one song would you prevent from being recorded?
I'm the biggest Rush fan, but the Rush albums that came out in the 90s--those. Of course I own all of them and listen to them.
6. Keeping with the time machine theme, which era would you like to see?
I would have like to have seen the 70s as a 30 year-old--to know what kind of trouble you could get into. It was the second coming of excess. I would even have a big-ass moustache.
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7. Did you have a favorite sitcom growing up?
I had a few: What's Happenin', Sanford & Son, the one with Archie Bunker. TV raised us. There were just so many good bad ones back then.
8. Can you eat just one Lay's?
Hell no. I do the whole bag.
9. Do you ever eat Hillshire Farms at home?
I just had it last night--Polska Kielbasa
10. What really goes into a hot dog?
[Chuckles]...Well, when I make them, 5-4-3 forcemeat--and we'll leave it at that. What's more important is what goes on top. Never ever ever ketchup.