We began the 10 Questions series early in the new year, so it seems like a good time to pause and look back.
Over the past few months, we've interviewed some interesting characters, including chefs, waiters, managers, bartenders, food critics and outright celebrities. While we never intended the 10 Q segment to uncover astounding secrets, we have made a few shocking discoveries over the course of three months.
For example, Judd Fruia, owner of Tre Amici, thinks Ariel from The Little Mermaid is cute...well, sexier than Smurfette, anyway. Olympic medalist Sasha Cohen has never puked--a la the guy in The Cutting Edge--before stepping onto the ice. The founder of Savor Dallas, radio legend Jim White, keeps a souvenir Wile E. Coyote glass from the 70s on display in his home. And we forget what else.
OK, so there's nothing that shocking. But we've had fun so far, especially when people admit such things as...
1. So why become a chef?
I didn't know what I was getting into. In Spain, actors are always at restaurants. Lunch lasts six hours and people end up holding meetings in restaurants. My father decided it was a waste of money to have an office. He would save money by owning a restaurant. And he did. But he thought the same thing would happen when he moved to L.A. He opened a restaurant. I was 18 and he fired the kitchen staff on New Year's Eve. They wanted more money and said they wouldn't cook the dinner unless they got raises, so he fired them. He looked at me and said "get in there and cook." I said "you're out of your bloody mind." I had to do 300 covers. But I worked later with a professional chef who taught me to enjoy it. I never thought I wanted to be a chef, no way. Now I enjoy it. Expediting, I'm good; but on the line I suck.
(Taco Borga, chef and owner of La Duni)
2. How many hours do you sleep?
Hmm...Last night I got three hours, so let's do an average. I think I average five or six hours. With six, I'm good. But this energy is not natural. It's espresso.
(Tiffany Derry, chef of Go Fish Ocean Club)
3. What's your favorite guilty pleasure?
I just finished a bag of licorice. It's pitiful, man--about half a pound. My stomach is aching.
(Sam Dickey, chef and owner of Zymology)
4. What was the worst moment from those 2,000 [weddings]?
There've been a few. I had a bride arrested on her wedding day, in her gown. But it was her own fault. She was involved in--let's just say extracurricular activities. But it was pretty incredible. You can't control people, all you can do is advise them and hope for the best.
(Donnie Brown, Dallas wedding planner and star of Whose Wedding Is It, Anyway?)
5. Which cast member has the strangest eating habits?
Patrick [Warburton], without a doubt. He's so weird--I'll look at him and ask 'why are you ordering four entrees?' He's a moose. He'll come in and say 'I'm sorry, I have terrible breath.' He's just stopped off at Carl's Jr for an onion jalapeno burger. At 9 a.m. And I have to kiss him.
(Megyn Price, star of the CBS sitcom Rules of Engagement)
6. Ever think Iron Chef would be better if fights broke out?
You know, it's funny--we were talking to a video game producer about doing Tyler Florence's Chef Fight. You could pick your chef and try to undermine the others--cooking and sabotage. But it's still in production.
(Tyler Florence, celebrity chef and TV star)
7. Could Paula Deen whip Rachael Ray's ass?
Shoot yeah. Anybody's grandmother can beat up anyone. Wouldn't be close. I won't even take on someone's grandmother.
(Fitzgerald Dodd, chef at Screen Door)
8. Just once, everyone should eat at...?
Wingfield's. It's in Oak Cliff. I don't think they've ever cleaned the grill and the burgers, they're a heart attack in between a bun. But it's outstanding.
(Chris Zielke, owner of Bolsa)
9. What is the appeal of upscale nightlife?
Shallow validation. Why go to the bother of accomplishing great things when you can just hang around people who might possibly know, or be distantly related to, somebody who's accomplished great things? Also, and this is not a minor point, upscale nightclubs tend to draw a larger percentage of regular bathers.
(Mr. Dallas, nightlife guru for the Dallas Morning News)
10. Why do you guys hate the Bears so much?
We call people from Illinois "FIBs" [Fucking Illinois Bastards]. When people travel up and down the freeway near the border, there's more bird-flipping concentrated in that one area than anywhere else in the world. 'Hey dere, back to Illinois, you FIB.' I don't know what they call us.
(Joel Harloff, chef at Dali Wine Bar--and Wisconsin native)
A few bonus answers:
* Is cooking school like college? Do you find kids sleeping in class?
We have blowtorches, you know.
(Russell Hodges, chef and instructor at AIMS Academy)
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* How often do you get hit on?
On average? Probably five or six times a night--at least. Guys get real ballsy after midnight. Girls too.
(Sherry Maddox, bartender for Mantis and Blue Collar Bar)
* You like cars. Is there one you really want to drive?
You know, I love cars. I love fast cars. I would love to drive a Ferrari. But these days I'm practical, so I drive an Escalade. It's something I can load up during the day and still go out in at night. I can put a whole tuna in there. If I drove up to the fish market in a Ferrari or Mercedes, they'd probably raise the price.
(Wolfgang Puck, celebrity chef and owner of Five-Sixty)
* Wine drinkers are supposedly sophisticated, so--what's the last book you read? Sales and Service to the Wine Professional by Brian Julyan--the second edition. And we just got the third editon in the shop.
(Brooks Anderson, owner of Veritas wine bar)
A day without beer is...?
Never gonna happen. I mean, come on now.
(Ian Green, bartender at The Idle Rich)