Ehren Litzenberger of BLD in Chandler on Mario Batali and Why It's Hard to Be a Three-Squares Chef
This is part two of my interview with Ehren Litzenberger, executive chef at BLD in Chandler. If you missed part one, where Litzenberger dished about simplicity, chocolate-covered grasshoppers and his beef with "foodies," read it here.
Buchanan Litzenberger in the kitchen at BLD
Favorite thing to eat growing up: Pizza, Round Table, dining in.
Favorite thing to eat now: Thai food. Thanks, David (Latitude Eight Thai Grill).
Best food memory: A friend of mine, James Saio (last chef of Taggia) recently relocated to Santa Barbara, re-launching a restaurant for Kimpton Hotels. I went to visit and he made the most succulent beef ribs with soy-chile caramel and spicy cabbage. My girlfriend at the time said, "This is the only time you can cheat on me" (with food of course).
If your cooking were a genre of music, what would it be?: Very difficult to put just into one genre. I can be dubstep most of the time, but sometimes, I'm smooth jazz with a story to be told. So if you could put all that together, that would be me. Let me know when you find it.
Your most embarrassing moment in the kitchen: First day on the job at Kuleto's in San Francisco, my sauté pan caught on fire, and as I tried to put it out, I nervously knocked it onto the floor. Now I had a bigger fire! Oops.
What really turns you off when you're dining at a restaurant?: The fact that so many people do not know the proper use of salt. I have had dishes and said, "Really, did you taste this before you sent it out?" because it has no seasoning. Other times, dishes can be so over-seasoned that I have to regretfully send them back.
Name one of your favorite places to dine in Phoenix: Cibo. I love that the food is amazing, they have a beautiful patio, and Guido is just the best!
Local chef you admire and why: Guido Saccone of Cibo and Claudio Urciuoli of Noca. Both are great guys, very simple, and I love both Cibo and Noca. Every time I go, it's a whole new experience for me.