Greg LaPrad Dishes on the Ghost at Quiessence and Gives a Hilarious Answer to the Last Meal on Earth Question
This is part two of my interview with Greg LaPrad, chef-owner of Quiessence and Morning Glory Cafe. If you missed part one, where LaPrad gave negative "foodies" a serious tongue-lashing, read it here.
Buchanan Greg LaPrad seated at the wine bar at Quiessence.
Your favorite cuisine and why: East Coast Italian-American. It's what I grew up eating: spaghetti and meatballs, Parmesans, piccata, Marsala, scaloppine.
Weirdest thing you ever ate: In Nairobi, Kenya, I ate at a restaurant called Carnivore and tried giraffe, zebra, hartebeest (African antelope). I had half the Serengeti in me. Definitely weird.
Buchanan Winter squash soup with smoked duck breast, bread pudding croutons and meringue
If your cooking were a genre of music, what would it be?: The blues, because the music is real, honest and has a deep sense of place.
Your most embarrassing moment in the kitchen: I was working the pantry station at Michael's at the Citadel shortly after starting there. I was making the soup for the restaurant and had the freedom to make whatever I wanted. That day I decided to make a fennel-orange soup. Unfortunately, not thinking, I made my base by squeezing fresh oranges and simmering them in my soup stock. It was a huge mistake and turned into a bitter mess. It still haunts me to this day.
What really turns you off when you're dining at a restaurant? Honestly, I'm not a picky diner. I'd really only be offended at an obvious lack of sanitation. Every restaurant has a niche and a market that works for them. If it doesn't work for me, I simply won't return. To each their own.
Name one of your favorite places to dine in Phoenix and briefly explain why: My favorite place to dine is at my home. After being in and around a restaurant all week, my wife's cooking is very welcome. I do, however, have a lot of respect for local chefs Chris Bianco and Kevin Binkley. Both possess unbelievable culinary minds.