In the restaurant it`s much more serious.
My family... always had the value of the family table and these cultural influences of growing up.
I spent a lot of time on farms when I was young. My uncle and my dad owned a big farm.
I started cooking when I was about 10. I have memories like when I was 6 or 7 with my mom, and when I was 12 I started getting real serious about cooking.
I`ve always done food that can work in a set time frame. The message I`m trying to get across is, it doesn`t have to take three days to do this. With planning, you can do a lot and really have quality food every day.
Home base is the support system where we have a culinary team, my own writers because of the shows and the books and stuff, we have a culinary team of about six people. Marketing, public relations, accounting and all that sort of stuff.
Life just doesn`t hand you things. You have to get out there and make things happen. that`s the exciting part.
If somebody has a chance to put my food in their mouth, that tells the story.
I`m not a TV guy. I`m a restaurant chef and a businessman.
I respected it. I submerged myself into it. So on a lot of days off I would go and fish with the fishermen and the families that ran the boats. I would go work the fields with farmers. I would go and talk with farmers about growing particular products for me.
I`m working harder than ever now, and I`m putting on my pants the same as I always have. I just get up every day and try to do a little better than the day before, and that is to run a great restaurant with great food, great wine, and great service. That`s my philosophy.
I had these recipes that say do this, do that. Who MAKES these rules?
Music is one of those things that is constantly going in my head all the time. It`s sort of like the evolution and creation of doing food, or my philosophy about wine. It`s always beating in my head, so it keeps the spirit moving.
Those other 10 o`clock shows that come on, all you get from them is headaches and nightmares when you go to bed! At least we give you food, know what I mean?
I don`t limit myself.
I grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts. My background was modest, and I worked at a Portuguese bakery in town.
The world has changed, and it`s almost been 11 years. I have 975 employees. I have six restaurants. We haven`t opened any new ones in almost three years.
You know, for 300 years it`s been kind of the same. There are restaurants in New Orleans that the menu hasn`t changed in 125 years, so how is one going to change or evolve the food?
I ended up turning down a full scholarship of music at the conservatory to pay to go to cooking school.
We try to take care of guests in any way we can. Like vegetarian tastings. Which reminds me of our truffles... we are known for our truffles.
When it ceases to be fun, I`ll stop and just stay in my restaurants.
My philosophy from day one is that I can sleep better at night if I can improve an individual`s knowledge about food and wine, and do it on a daily basis.
Mom ran the house, so we grew up Portuguese.
I guess I feel that I was following my instincts, and at the same time being guided by the best. I became totally intrigued with Louisiana - the people, the food. It is a part of my life. Everything that has happened for me since moving here has just been icing on the cake.
We began building this incredible new foundation in this restaurant, and that`s what began giving me the left-hand side of tradition and the right-hand side, my new palate.
Growing up in New England, being schooled and classically trained, it needed to shake, it needed to evolve.
I wouldn`t wish divorce on my worst enemy. It`s just a lousy thing to go through. I disagree with people who say `oh, its a good time now we can get divorced.` There`s no good time to get divorced. It stinks, it`s a lousy thing.
We`re a new show. We can`t afford instant replay.
If you don`t follow your dream, who will?
I have always been involved with both music and food. Music was first, and I kind of had to set that on the back burner when food took over.
I came here because the city has a tradition and is a very respected food city.