I spent a lot of time on farms when I was young. My uncle and my dad owned a big farm.
The cool thing is that now that people have made this evolution where cooking is cool, people are doing it on weekends, they're doing their own challenges. It's back to cooking. And it's real cooking.
You know, for 300 years it's been kind of the same. There are restaurants in New Orleans that the menu hasn't changed in 125 years, so how is one going to change or evolve the food?
You know, in 1975 I couldn't get a job in New York City because I was American. The kitchens were predominantly run by French, Swiss, German, and basically I got laughed at. I had education, I had experience, but got laughed at because I was American.
My inspiration was my mom. She's a great cook, and she still cooks, and we still banter back and forth about cooking. Growing up in a mostly Portuguese community, food was important and the family table was extremely important. At a very young age I understood that.
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