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Dinner with Momofuku’s Sean Gray

Baldor Editors May 8 , 2017

What did you make for the dinner on Monday? What inspired you?

We decided to do a large dinner that was based mostly off sharing dishes. Doing a tasting menu every day where things are all individually served, there isn't much of an opportunity to do larger things. It was really fun.

 

What’s your favorite spring vegetable? 

Wild broccoli rabe, especially when it's nice and peppery.

 

Go to cocktail?

Boulevardier.

 

What do you consider the most overrated ingredient? How about the most underrated? 

Underrated: White pepper. It's my favorite spice - very floral - and I think it can really take basic flavors to another level.

Is there a food that really grosses you out or that you just can’t eat?

I've never been a huge fan of all the musk melons, but that opinion changes every year.

 

What’s the most exciting food city in the world? Why?

Montreal. It seems to live in its own world and doesn't really appear to follow the trends that happen everywhere else.

 

What’s your greatest passion (other than food)?

Classic cars and having time to learn more about restoration and body work.

 

What do you consider the most important trait of a successful chef?

Being a good listener and having good follow through. These are both things I'm working on this year.

 

What do you wish you had known when you started cooking?

More about restaurants and the history of the craft.  It's inspiring, today, for me to meet young chefs that are 19 or 21 that have an amazing knowledge of food, and techniques, and references. They have an understanding of what different types of restaurants there are and can be a bit more selective about learning more about things that interest them.

 

The biggest challenge facing restaurants today?

Promoting a great culture in the restaurant and not taking advantage of your employees. Setting standards where everyone is equally respected and feels valued. I think that will be the things that separate great restaurants in the future.

 

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