Favorite dish to cook at home: A grilled cheese sandwich. I make the best grilled cheese sandwich in the world. I usually use whatever cheeses are in the fridge--some cheddar, some Parmigiano-Reggiano, some Pleasant Ridge Reserve if I have it, it’s a great caramel-y cheese from Wisconsin. And you have to have a slice of American in there. It has to be a hodgepodge. I also love anything to do with eggs, like scrambled eggs in duck fat. I love making that at home and it’ll be on the brunch menu at Proof. I've never seen it on a restaurant menu before. Everyone does fries in duck fat, but never eggs.
Favorite dish on soon-to-open Proof’s menu: It’s not even on the menu yet, but Haidar [Karoum, the chef] has a way with fish, and I know his sablefish is going to be one of my favorites. He experimented with a lamb burger the other day. There were three left over and I found myself eating one for breakfast the next morning. That was really great.
Favorite cocktail: Grey Goose martini, straight up with a couple of olives.
Favorite wine and food pairing: Sauternes and sauteed foie gras. Chateau d’Yquem. It’s one of the most wonderful experiences.
Favorite course (of a meal): I like hors d'oeuvres and appetizers, small bites. I love restaurants like Joel Robuchon, where it’s lots of small tastes. Proof is modeled after that type of eating.
Dessert or cheese plate?: Definitely cheese. I’m not a dessert person. I had a friend in town last night take me to Citronelle, and I opted for the cheese.
Coffee or tea?: Strong coffee black or espresso.
Favorite cookbook: I love Michael Chiarello’s The Tra Vigne Cookbook, from his restaurant in California. He’s also on TV now.
Favorite workday lunch: A turkey or roast beef sandwich at Hodges, right around the corner from the restaurant.
Favorite ethnic cuisine: Probably Italian food. My favorites are Teatro Goldoni and Tosca--I don’t want to get one mad at me. Those are the two best.
Favorite junk food: Pizza. In this city, from 2 Amys.
Favorite late night snack: Probably a grilled cheese sandwich.