Why is this the best thing you ever ate between two slices of bread?
I love the Prime Cheeseburger from Ocean Prime. It reminds me of something I would make.
When did you discover this sandwich?
I used to work at Eddie V’s and would come to Ocean Prime every Thursday night.
Have you always enjoyed cooking?
I started cooking when I was 16. I moved to Miami for high school and was working as a busboy at a restaurant. I loved everything about the restaurant business especially the hard work and energy. I knew then I wanted to be a chef. I asked the chef there what I should do to become one, he told me to go to culinary school.
Yes, I went to Johnson & Wales University’s College of Culinary Arts. There I learned how to make great food that would make people happy and how to work with all different types of ingredients to create wonderful dishes.
Any tips for aspiring chefs?
At one of my first jobs after school, working at Wolfgang Puck’s Grand Cafe, he told me to read Becoming a Chef. It is a wonderful book and great resource.
How would you describe the cuisine at Cask Social Kitchen?
The menu at Cask is chef driven. This means I have a lot of freedom to work with fresh ingredients to create our menu and to listen to guests’ requests and make meals especially for them. We call our cuisine New American fare – we have Southern staples like Chicken and Waffles but also specialize in seafood dishes.
What’s one dish everyone should try at Cask?
I have a lot of favorites on our menu, and we change things up each season so there is always a new favorite, but the Pan Seared Mussels, Cask Low Country Carbonara Pasta, and Crab Stuffed Black Grouper always receive rave reviews.
What’s one ingredient you can’t live without in the kitchen?
I love to cook seafood – all types.
What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t cooking?
I enjoy spending my free time with my wife and our 3-month old son, going to the beach or just hanging out. Family is very important to me. They are the number one thing in my life.
Fries or Chips?
Actually, I like a side salad because it is light.
White or Wheat bread?
What do you think of Tampa’s food scene?
Tampa has grown so much since I first moved here 20 years ago. At that time there were not many restaurants, but now Tampa has a lot of great ones. I’m glad that Cask is part of that scene. I really like hearing the responses we get from people who come in to Cask for the first time and getting to know our regulars and what they like.
2205 N. Westshore Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33607