Are there any specific design tweaks that are
unique to you? I like to have both electric and
gas burners. Electric is more consistent for
low simmering. I use them both when cooking.
What is your favorite aspect of your kitchen?
It’s all laid out right there. Everything is in
reaching distance — refrigerator, stove and
oven, with lots of counter and chopping space.
Great prep areas are essential.
If you could add or change one thing in your
kitchen, what would it be? I would spread my
stove burners farther apart. As they are now,
it’s very difficult to use more than two large
pans at the same time.
What role does the kitchen play in the context
of your home life? Food prep, and it is the
heart of the family.
How many cooks in the kitchen? Who does the
most cooking? I like no more than two people
in the kitchen at once, and I am definitely one
of them. I do most of the cooking. My wife,
Kari, is the salad queen.
Favorite utensil or special appliance you
can’t live without? A good cutting board, a
good sharp knife, a nice pair of tongs, a good
sautéing pan and spatula, and I’m there.
Your favorite way to host a dinner party/enter-tain guests? Put out some nibbles like cured
meats, bread, cheese and champagne or a nice
chilled white wine and leave the guests to help
themselves outside of the kitchen while I prepare the main course. I try to do all the prep
work first and do the actual cooking while the
guests are there. Our kitchen is set up so you can
watch without getting in the way.
Whom would you like to have as a dinner guest
or cook with? I’ve cooked for some of the great
chefs: Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali, Julian
Serrano, Roger Verge, Peter Merriman and
many more. Jose Andres is a friend, but I have
yet to cook for him, so he is on the bucket list.
Favorite meals to prepare at home? Any pasta
dish, roast chicken, tacos of any kind and paella.
What is your favorite way to cook with rum?
I love cooking with rum these days. It has a
sweetness that works well with spicy food, and
it makes a wonderful concentrated reduced
citrus sauce. I use my own rum, of course, and
prefer white un-aged for cooking.
What three ingredients can be found in your
Mill Valley refrigerator at all times? Eggs,
good fresh tortillas and salsa.
I TRY TO DO ALL THE PREP WORK FIRST AND DO THE
ACTUAL COOKING WHILE THE GUESTS ARE THERE.