This interview first appeared in Food and Beverage Magazine in June 2017.

Everyone has a story. Tell us how you knew you wanted to become a part of the hospitality industry… What was your “light bulb” moment?

Growing up in New York, I enjoyed spending time at the beach.I worked at Magic’s Pub a bar at the beach. I fell in love with excitement, energy and all of the social aspects. Then I took a position at Club Pie. While working there, I realized I had potential to become a chef.

What made you decide to incorporate the tagline “The Sharpest Knife in the Kitchen?”

I didn’t come up with that Line. The PR department did, I liked the way is sounded so I went along with it.

In a few words describe your element kitchen and cocktail?

Great project. Element Hospitality ask me to get involved, I agreed and it’s a pleasure. Denver is an Amazing City with some awesome Chef’s and good food. I’m looking forward to raising the bar and elevating the concept. Better tasting food and ambience. It’s going to put patrons in the mind of an Upscale Sports Bar.

Describe the dining scene in Denver?

Amazing, the infrastructure is changing rapidly. They are upgrading and opening very nice restaurants that’s serving good food.

What is your favorite savory dish?

I don’t have favorite, however I do like a variety. I enjoy well thought out food of quality.
Soulful food, full of flavor and that taste good.

How important is presentation?

New York Style Pizza, greasy, thin slice and orange in color.

Who was your greatest cooking influence?

My mother and a French Chef that inspired and taught me how to cook

What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?

Salt and White/Black Pepper..

What is your favorite white wine? Favorite red?

Burgundy red/white

What celebrity you would love to cook dinner for? Or have cooked for?

George Clooney. I would love to just sit down and talk with his while he enjoy one of my meals.
I was Maria Carey and Tommy Mottola’s personal Chef. I’ve also cooked for several musicians, such as Billy Joel, Barbara Walters and several other Rock Stars.

What is your favorite dessert?

Chocolate Soufflé

Chef whose style of cooking you really dig?

We are now the new modern day Celebrity. We can be very creative, we travel, meet interesting people, as a result we benefit from all the exposure. It’s amazing being a chef, however you must make sure you have good food, but also that it taste good, supporting your creation.

What advice would you give to someone with aspirations of becoming a professional chef?

Be prepared to work hard. Do your research, keep an open mind, stay innovative and always remember” Your Soul must be in it and this is a life style verses a career.

Lastly, what do you do when relaxing.

Sleeping on the Beach. I love the Beach!