Michael DeMaria of Heirloom, Part Two

Categories: Chef Chat

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Courtesy of Chef Michael DeMaria
Yesterday, we spoke with 51-year-old Chef Michael DeMaria of Heirloom and M Catering. Today, our chat continues...

Even though he's cooked for celebs and can afford to stay in style, DeMaria isn't afraid to rough it in a tent. In his spare time, he's an avid fisherman who practices the "catch and release" technique to help preserve seafood populations. "No eating of any fish!" he exclaims. "It's a sport, and if every person took a fish from every river there would be no fish left." Good point.  

Top vacay spots: My favorite location is Montana. When I get there, they call me 'Wyatt.' That's my nickname. I just like to take on that Western feel. I got Winston and Levi and all that whiskey and all the guys are with me. We all have nicknames.

Do you stay in hotels, or rough it? I camp like a chef. The biggest thing that goes on a camping trip is my 3-burner range. I got a cooking table, a bag with my pots, another bag with containers of herbs and spices. I cook things like cinnamon-roasted duck and risotto.

Favorite foods: I'll give you two, and I can't tell you which ranks ahead. I love all sausages, from hot dogs, bratwurst, Italian sausage, Swedish, hot Italian, any kind of sausage there is. On mashed potatoes as bangers and mash or on a bun. My second is all pasta, from Italian style to Asian noodles.

Is there a dish you don't know how to make? I have never been able to master the rice of sushi. That is something I'd definitely want to learn. Maybe someday.

Sweet talk: My favorite dessert of all time would be a creamy cakey dessert like tiramisu. Or at a restaurant I like sorbet because I like to put my attention towards the food, not necessarily the calories of a dessert.

Are you a fan of fast food? I cannot tell a lie. Yes, you'll catch me at Taco Bell. Right now, my favorite fast food is the $1.49 Jumbo Jack at Jack in the Box. That's a good $1.49. You'll also catch me quite often getting the $1.50 hot dog at Costco.

Will you ever stop working? I will retire some day. My retirement plan is to have my big 40-foot RV and travel for most of the year, except in the winter. I'll be here in the winter. My plan is to fish, fish, fish with my buddies. Travel and fish all the way from Alaska to Key West, the whole North American continent I will be fishing. The brown trout run in NY. Redfish in Texas. My wife will go to New York and have her city life and some time we'll hook up.

(This was part two of our interview with Michael DeMaria of Heirloom at DC Ranch. Check out part one and stay tuned for one of DeMaria's entree recipes tomorrow... ) 

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