Q&A with Chef Jesus Canela of Vintage 1891 in Larchmont



Favorite Cuisine…Definitely Thai. It’s inexpensive and my comfort food of choice.
Culinary Hero…Julia Child. She made complicated cuisine sound fun and accessible, even if it isn’t.
If Not a Chef, I’d Be…a boxer. I was boxing off and on for eleven years. Cooking and fighting are, of course, very different, but both require a lot of concentration and stamina. It doesn’t hurt that the kitchen staff knows I used to box.
Favorite Kitchen Utensil…I want to say my hands, but I think Jacques Pépin said it first. So I’d have to pick a stand mixer.
Last Book Read…I just finished a biography of Auguste Escoffier by Kenneth James called Escoffier: The King of Chefs
I Never Eat…anchovies. We used to have to eat them when we were little because my dad thought they were good for us. I hate them.
Show I’d Like To Be On…Unbeatable Banzuke [an obstacle course game show from Japan]. I would love to do the pogo stick challenge.
The Worst Incident That Occurred in the Restaurant…At one of my other kitchens, one of the line cooks stuck his hand in the deep fryer without thinking to get one of his tools. It wasn’t pretty.
Culinary School Can’t Teach…how to move quickly in a modern commercial kitchen and all the different personalities of the people you’ll be working with.
Food Trend I Hate the Most…Molecular gastronomy. It‘s trendy and is being done by people who don’t know what they’re doing.
When Cooking, Chefs Tend to Use Too Much…fats, butters, and oils. A little is enough and too much hides good ingredients.
Best Thing About Cooking in Westchester…You can connect with your guests. They are very sophisticated and experienced and, if you’re good, they are extremely loyal. They like new experiences but they like a place that is welcoming and feels like home.

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