Title: Sous chef, Interim restaurant
Who or what was your first cooking influence? My mom. She baked. Pound cakes. But that wasn't really what inspired me. Actually working at different restaurants, that's what inspired me. Just the business in general. That's what got me going for it.
What was the first thing you ever cooked or baked? I remember making strawberry cakes with my mother. 'Cause that was the bonus. In order to lick the bowl -- as bad as it sounds -- I had to bake the cake.
What made you decide to become a chef and when was that? After working at Louisiana Lagniappe, it's a well-known seafood restaurant down in Destin. When I got back I knew that's what I wanted to do with my life. ... Just the smells. Just everything. The people. Everybody's having fun. ... It's not the best money, but, you know what? It makes me happy.
What was your first food-related job? Fox and Hound. ... High volume. If you can't handle that, you can't handle a restaurant like this.
What was something important that a fellow chef taught you? Local and fresh. Those are the two things. If you don't have that, you don't have a restaurant.
What is the Andy Knight style? Simple.
Describe a dish you created. I made vegetable lo mein and I had rib eyes. I marinated the rib eyes in hoisin and sambal and soy sauce. It was an American Asian twist. ... I made it to impress a girl.
What do you cook or bake at home, if anything? Steak and potatoes.
What's your least favorite ingredient? Kale. ... The reason I don't like cooking with it is 'cause if you put that on your menu, people won't buy it even though it's good and it's delicious.
Interim Restaurant and Bar is at 5040 Sanderlin; 818-0821.
Michael Donahue: 529-2797; firstname.lastname@example.org